Corey Watson, a recent SFU doctoral graduate in biology, his thesis supervisor SFU biologist Felix Breden and three scientists in the United Kingdom have just had their findings published online in Scientific Reports. It’s a sub-publication of the journal Nature.
An inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, MS is the most common neurological disorder among young adults. Canada has one of the highest MS rates in the world.
Watson and his colleagues recently helped quantify MS genetic susceptibility by taking a closer look at GWAS-identified variants in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region in 1,854 MS patients. The region has long been associated with MS susceptibility.
The MS patients’ variants were compared to those of 5,164 controls, people without MS.
They noted that eight percent of our 30-per-cent genetic susceptibility to MS is linked to small DNA variations on chromosome 6, which have also long been associated with MS susceptibility.
The MHC encodes proteins that facilitate communication between certain cells in the immune system. Outside of the MHC, a good majority of genetic susceptibility can’t be nailed down because current studies don’t allow for all variants in our genome to be captured.
“Much of the liability is unaccounted for because current research methods don’t enable us to fully interrogate our genome in the context of risk for MS or other diseases,” says Watson.
The researchers believe that one place to look for additional genetic causes of MS may be in genes that have variants that are rare in the population. “The importance of rare gene variants in MS has been illustrated in two recent studies,” notes Watson, now a postdoctoral researcher at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
“But these variants, too, are generally poorly represented by genetic markers captured in GWAS, like the one our study was based on.”
Simon Fraser University is Canada's top-ranked comprehensive university and one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 120,000 alumni in 130 countries.
"Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities"Contact:
Carol Thorbes | EurekAlert!
Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein
24.01.2017 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY
Choreographing the microRNA-target dance
24.01.2017 | UT Southwestern Medical Center
A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.01.2017 | Life Sciences
24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine