Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chromosome ‘Looping’ Of Imprinted Genes May Hold Key To Growth Disorder

17.08.2004


Babraham Institute scientists have identified chromosome ‘loops’ which have implications for healthy growth of babies in the womb. Disruption of these loops can lead to Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS) – over-large babies with various tumours – which affects 1 in 13,000 births. The risk of developing the syndrome is increased four-fold in babies born following IVF treatment.



Confirmation of the existence of the loops, described in an article published in Nature Genetics, was made by Dr Adele Murrell and colleagues, working with Dr Wolf Reik at the Babraham Institute. Scientists had previously speculated that these loops, or something similar, exist, but no-one had evidence to prove this was the case.

Dr Reik’s group studies imprinted genes, which are genes in mammals that are only expressed from one of the parental chromosomes. These genes have important roles in regulating the growth of the baby in the womb and its adaptations to life outside the womb. Many of them occur in clusters, and share elements by which their expression can be increased (enhancers) or decreased (silencers).


These elements of the chromosome may be thought of as beads on a necklace. They are distant from each other along the string (up to 10% of the length of the string), but it can be coiled to bring them into contact. The group has identified a looped area of a chromosome, which enables direct physical contact between two imprinted genes, allowing one or the other to be exclusively expressed.

This study confirms the existing theories of how these relatively remote elements are arranged in loops to allow their effects to be shared. Dr Reik comments “though the findings don’t have a direct bearing on diagnosis, our work over the years has led to much better prediction as to which groups of children with BWS are at higher risk of developing certain symptoms”.

Emma Southern | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY

nachricht NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas

19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

New creepy, crawly search and rescue robot developed at Ben-Gurion U

19.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Metal too 'gummy' to cut? Draw on it with a Sharpie or glue stick, science says

19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>