European and Canadian researchers have, for the first time, drawn a map of genetic risk factors that can lead to two forms of severe obesity: early-onset obesity in children, and morbid obesity in adults.
A genetic study of 1,380 Europeans with early-onset and morbid adult obesity was led by French researchers Dr. David Meyre, of the Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (Inserm), and Dr. Philippe Froguel, director of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). Dr. Rob Sladek, Dr. Constantin Polychronakos and Dr. Alexandre Montpetit, of McGill University and the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre, made key contributions to the discovery, along with researchers from France, Britain, Finland, Switzerland and Germany.
The results were published Jan. 19 in the journal Nature Genetics. Finding the genetic cause of a medical problem can often lead researchers along the right path toward an eventual treatment or cure or to help identify people who might be at risk.
"The idea was not just to look at run-of-the-mill obesity, but look for genetic factors that may affect people who have more severe problems with their weight," said Dr. Sladek, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Genetics and Endocrinology. "This includes children who become obese at a young age, before the age of six. We also studied the genomes of adults who had a familial history of severe obesity, with a body-mass index greater than 40." People are generally defined as "overweight" if they have a body-mass index greater than 25.
"The family approach being undertaken by our collaboration with our colleagues in France is going to become important for future large-scale genetic studies," Sladek continued. "Our suspicion is that a lot of the genetic changes that make people obese will turn out to be variants that run in families or in segments of the population, rather than things that are very common across the population. In terms of diabetes, we think that perhaps 90 per cent of the genetic risk could come from these familial or even personal genetic variants."
"We are proud of this announcement, which once again confirms the scientific excellence and talent of Québec's scientists," said Paul L'Archevêque, President and CEO of Génome Québec. "These findings, which are the direct result of studies co-financed by Génome Québec, clearly show the strategic role of genomics in the search for solutions to improve human health. We would also like to underline the cooperation among the institutes, an initiative that made this major advance possible. Congratulations to the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre team, and especially to Alexandre Montpetit who trained a group from CNRS on genotyping data analysis on the Illumina platform."
Mark Shainblum | EurekAlert!
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
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,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy