Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Illinois study seeking biomarkers of canine diabetes, other diseases

07.10.2003


Even as the genetic blueprint for Shadow the poodle was being completed in Maryland, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had been engaged in a long-term study that they hope will add functional gene information to the dog genome as well as benefit both canine and human health.



The still-in-progress Illinois study, in which researchers are measuring the effects of diet on gene expression in both weanling and geriatric dogs, is described in a paper in the October issue of the Journal of Nutrition. The scientists use their study as an example of how the use of emerging molecular tools, in general, will unlock the functional aspects of the genes being mapped in a variety of genomes.

"Genome sequencing allows us to understand health across animals," said Lawrence B. Schook, a professor of animal sciences and veterinary pathobiology at Illinois. "Dogs, like humans, get diseases associated with lifestyles. Thus not exercising and over-eating can result in obesity and diabetes. Information about human diseases can be used to treat dogs, and understanding dog diseases can be used to treat humans."


The dog-human bond goes deeper than mutual admiration. In a paper published last month in Science, researchers at the Institute for Genomic Research in Maryland scientists reported that their genome map of Shadow reveals 18,473 genes that correspond to the 24,567 annotated human genes. They also noted that the dog’s genome had more genetic similarities with humans than does the mouse -- the most-often used mammal for human health studies.

Schook and colleagues say in their paper that the cat-genome map available to date is even more similar to humans genetically than the dog. To date, Schook said, 263 feline and 451 canine genetic diseases have been identified.

Causes for diseases associated with a single gene can be uncovered with current biological techniques, Schook said, but finding the source of diseases associated with multiple genes "is a much more daunting task."

The emergence of mammal genomes provides fundamental gene-placement information, but now researchers are able to pursue functional genomics to unlock the mysteries of RNA and protein expression. Such research, Schook and colleagues write, will enhance our knowledge of metabolism and improve companion animal nutrition and health.

The dog, they say, "may be a very useful model, as many of the most common diseases of purebred dogs are also major health concerns in humans." They cite arthritis, cancer, deafness, heart disease, blindness, epilepsy and chronic metabolic diseases.

In the Illinois study, a diet of mostly high-quality animal-based ingredients is being compared with a mainly plant-based diet. Researchers are analyzing ribonucleic acid (RNA) samples to generate gene expression profiles of some 384 genes associated with metabolism and immune function. They also are monitoring digestion, fetal microbes and concentrations of fermented end products to measure the effects of dietary changes.

Illinois scientists hope the project will identify biomarkers that can predict diabetes, a disease that is appearing among the 40 percent of aging overweight dogs and cats in the United States, and other medical issues.

The general study of metabolic profiles of cells, tissues and organisms is designed to identify molecular markers that reflect nutritional and/or health status. Eventually, Schook said, such studies could result in animal feed that includes functional ingredients to help prevent and treat diseases in general or to target breed-specific genetic problems.

Schook’s collaborators are George Fahey, professor of animal sciences, and Kelly Swanson, a postdoctoral fellow in animal sciences. Pyxis Genomics of Chicago supports their research. Schook is a member of the board of directors of the privately held company that focuses on genetic research on natural disease resistance in food animals, preventive medicine for dogs and cats, food safety and security, and human therapeutics.

Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht When a fish becomes fluid
17.12.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center

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: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When a fish becomes fluid

17.12.2018 | Studies and Analyses

Progress in Super-Resolution Microscopy

17.12.2018 | Life Sciences

How electric heating could save CO2 emissions

17.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>