Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UC Davis study finds distinct genetic profiles

18.09.2006
Results promise to improve genetic studies of human disease

An international team of scientists lead by researchers at UC Davis Health System has found that, with respect to genetics, modern Europeans fall into two groups: a Northern group and a Southern, or Mediterranean one. The findings, published in the Sept. 14 edition of Public Library of Science Genetics, are important because they provide a method for scientists to take into account European ancestry when looking for genes involved in diseases.

"Until now, little has been known about the distribution of genetic variation in European populations and how much that distribution matters in terms of doing genetic studies," said Michael Seldin, chair of the Rowe Program in Genetics at UC Davis Health System. "Now we will be able to control for these differences in European populations in our efforts to find genes that cause common diseases."

Seldin, who is also a professor of biochemistry and professor of medicine at UC Davis, worked with his colleagues to compare genetic data for 928 individuals. They looked at 5,700 single nucleotide polymorphisms, called SNPs or "snips." SNPs are changes in which a single base in the DNA differs from the usual base at that position. Millions of SNP's have been cataloged in the human genome. Some SNPs cause disease, like the one responsible for sickle cell anemia. Other SNPs are normal variations in the genome. People who share ancestry will have many SNPs in common.

... more about:
»SNP »Seldin »ancestry

Seldin and his group set out to discover which SNPs among Europeans could account for shared common ancestry. "We saw a clustering of individuals that come from either southern Europe or derived from populations that left southern Europe, or the Mediterranean, in the last 2,000 years," Seldin said. This allowed the group to identify a set of 400 informative SNP markers that scientists could now use to control for European ancestry when conducting genetic studies of disease, response to drug treatment, or side effects from therapy.

In addition to future medical applications, the data are also of interest to anthropologists who study historical human migrations. The Southern grouping included individuals from Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain, as well as Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews. The Northern group included people with English, Irish, German, Swedish and Ukranian ancestry. These groups correspond to those historically divided by the Pyrenees and Alps mountain ranges.

With respect to population genetics, previous studies have shown that SNPs correlate broadly with continental ancestry, dividing modern humans into four large groups: Asia, Africa, Oceana, America and continental Europe. The new study gives scientists the evidence they need to further subdivide people with European ancestry into the Northern and Southern groups when looking for SNPs that may be involved in disease.

To prove this point, the researchers analyzed two sets of data. They looked at SNPs associated with rheumatoid arthritis and found that, when they corrected for ancestry, several of the genes that were previously believed to be good candidates for being involved in the disease were no longer candidates at all. They also corrected for ancestry in a data set looking at lactose intolerance. "When we did not control for differences in population structure, we got a lot of false associations," Seldin explained.

Seldin and his colleagues will soon be expanding the current European study by looking at 500,000 SNPs. They also have plans for similar studies of other continental populations and for further defining different subpopulations. Seldin said studies of other continents and ethnic groups are necessary if science is to get the most out of the advances made by the Human Genome Project. "The ultimate aim of these studies is to be able to better define subgroups and use this information to eliminate false associations, giving us a better chance of finding true associations for disease genes," Seldin said.

Michael Seldin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plos.org
http://roweprogram.ucdavis.edu/

Further reports about: SNP Seldin ancestry

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cohesin down-regulation drives hematopoietic stem cell aging
14.12.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

nachricht Magic number colloidal clusters
13.12.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

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

Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife

14.12.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Magic number colloidal clusters

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>