By applying a new technique that combines independent lines of genomic evidence, Duke University Medical Center researchers and colleagues have identified a single gene that influences the age at which individuals first show symptoms of Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases.
Such genes that can impact patients age at onset for the two very prevalent neurological disorders are of particular interest as alternative targets for treatment, said Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., director of the Duke Center for Human Genetics. Drugs that delay the onset of Alzheimers or Parkinsons diseases beyond the normal human lifespan would effectively prevent them in patients at risk for the disorders, she added.
Alzheimers disease is the most common cause of dementia among people over the age of 65, affecting up to 4 million Americans. Parkinsons disease -- characterized by tremors, stiffness of the limbs and trunk, slow movements and a lack of balance -- afflicts approximately 50,000 Americans each year. Both are complex disorders involving multiple genes.
Kendall Morgan | dukemed news
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
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