Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Expanding the genomic map

30.01.2012
A large-scale study of East Asian individuals reveals a number of previously overlooked genetic variants with potential roles in a number of metabolic diseases

Broad, population-based investigations known as genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are now a standard tool for helping scientists to pinpoint genetic variations that can contribute to disease risk or pathology. However, most of the studies performed to date have focused predominantly on populations of European ancestry, and therefore ignore or overlook risk markers that specifically predominate among other ethnic groups.

A recent GWAS from a large team of scientists based in Korea and Japan, including Yukinori Okada of the RIKEN Center for Genomic Medicine in Yokohama, has addressed this inequity by specifically seeking out factors that might contribute to metabolic disease in East Asians1.

In a GWAS, scientists analyze genomic data from large numbers of people who manifest a particular condition or trait of interest. They do this by seeking out small sequence changes known as single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, that show a strong statistical association with the presence or absence of that particular trait.
In an earlier study, Okada and colleagues analyzed more than 14,000 Japanese individuals and found several previously unidentified loci of interest2. This time, they performed an initial analysis in over 12,000 Korean individuals, and then replicated apparent ‘hits’ in a far larger group of over 30,000 individuals from Japan, Korea and China. This increased scale gave the researchers the ability to identify rare but meaningful associations with greater confidence.

They focused on finding genetic variants associated with imbalances in blood sugar, cholesterol and other indicators of metabolic function. “The recent rise of prevalence of metabolic diseases like diabetes, hyperlipidemia and chronic renal disease is a serious medical problem,” says Okada, “and these types of studies have been mainly conducted in European populations, but there are few studies on Asians.”

The team’s investigation uncovered 33 SNPs associated with metabolic function, 10 of which were previously unidentified. One of these SNPs was closely linked with variability in blood sugar levels, although the same SNP showed no significant association with this metabolic trait in a northern European cohort. The researchers also identified a segment of chromosome 12 that appears to affect multiple metabolic phenotypes in both Europeans and East Asians; however, the specific sequence variations associated with these traits differ between the two populations.

Collectively, these data highlight the importance of expanding the breadth of GWAS analyses to cover the full spectrum of ethnic diversity. Okada and colleagues are planning to embark on an even larger-scale GWAS of East Asian populations in the near future.

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Laboratory for Statistical Analysis, RIKEN Center for Genomic Medicine

gro-pr | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.riken.jp
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht How to design city streets more fairly
18.05.2020 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH

nachricht Insects: Largest study to date confirms declines on land, but finds recoveries in freshwater – Highly variable trends
24.04.2020 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

Im Focus: Rolling into the deep

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Black nitrogen: Bayreuth researchers discover new high-pressure material and solve a puzzle of the periodic table

29.05.2020 | Materials Sciences

Argonne researchers create active material out of microscopic spinning particles

29.05.2020 | Materials Sciences

Smart windows that self-illuminate on rainy days

29.05.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>