Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common rheumatic disease, and affects approximately one per cent of the population. Its causes are unknown, but scientists believe that the chances of developing the disease are determined as much by genetic factors as they are by environment and lifestyle.
An international team of researchers from Sweden, the USA and Singapore, led by professors Lars Klareskog and Lars Alfredsson at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet together with PhD group leader Mark Seielstad at the A*STAR funded national Genome Institute of Singapore, has compared the genomes of over 1,5000 rheumatics with those of 1,850 controls. Their analysis shows that the DNA of these two groups are at a variance at three sites, two genes previously linked to the disease and a previously unresearched gene complex known as TRAF-C5.
The Swedish and American researchers have also used the same material to examine the significance of a specific area of the genome. They found that yet another gene, STAT 4, could be linked to the disease.
The previously studied genes and the newly discovered TRAF-C5 and STAT4 genes are each important in its own way for the function of the body’s immune cells.
“It’s exciting that we’ve found new, single genes that impact on the risk of disease, but what’s most important is that we’ve now got a broader base for understanding the mechanisms behind the development and course of the disease,” says Professor Klareskog. “Since the two most crucial genes are already known, this shows that we’re on the right track.”
The studies illustrate the apparent need and growing trend towards conducting genetic research through large-scale international partnerships. Sweden’s unique patient register has been of use here for the gathering of samples and for the analysis of the interaction between genetic and environmental factors, while the genetic analysis has been carried out in Singapore using the very latest genomic techniques.
“We’re concentrating our efforts onto Singapore as it’s a country that is currently investing very actively in bioscience and biotechnology,” says Professor Jan Carlstedt-Duke, Dean of Research at Karolinska Institutet. “This is the second study from our partnership with Singapore that’s given results.”
Katarina Sternudd | alfa
What happens in the cell nucleus after fertilization
06.12.2016 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering