Familial combined hyperlipidemia is caused by the gene USF1, which in turn regulates many other genes, but until now there have been no techniques for finding which ones. Professor Claes Wadelius, at the Department of Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, has devised new methods for analyzing genetic regulation and found a number of genes that govern fat levels and energy conversion. The breakthrough is a result of close collaboration with Professor Jan Komorowski at the Linnaeus Center for Bioinformatics.
How active a gene is is regulated by proteins, called transcription factors, which are bound to the DNA strands. Until now, this has been analyzed in test tubes and only one gene at a time. Claes Wadelius’ research team has developed new high-efficiency methods that improve the results in two crucial ways. On the one hand, living cells are now analyzed, not synthetic genes in test tubes. On the other, the entire human genome is analyzed in a single experiment, not merely a genetic fragment.
The method has been used to find genes that have a disturbed function in the common disease familial combined hyperlipidemia. These patients have elevated levels of cholesterol or other fats, which leads to increased risk of being afflicted by early hardening of the arteries and heart attack. Analyses show that the gene USF1 in turn governs the activities of more than 1,000 genes, several of which determine the body’s levels of fat. It also regulates a number of genes that participate in the cell’s energy production, which provides new ways of understanding disturbances in metabolism. The new methods are 10-100 million times more efficient that the old ones, and the project involved more than a billion analyses. This places great demands on how we register, store, and interpret data.
“Technological advances are making medical research more of an information science. With these precise new methods for analyzing data we have entirely new capabilities for understanding the causes of disturbances in metabolism. In other projects we are using the same methods to understand new causes of cancer,” says Professor Claes Wadelius.
Anneli Waara | alfa
New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs
18.04.2019 | University of Hawaii at Manoa
New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection
18.04.2019 | Polytechnique Montréal
A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter
A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.
Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...
The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks
Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...
Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.
Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...
Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna
A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
09.04.2019 | Event News
18.04.2019 | Life Sciences
18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
18.04.2019 | Life Sciences