Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Salt-water Minnow Research Helps Explain Human Cardiology

Date:
December 16, 2004
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
Doctors and their patients have puzzled over why certain cholesterol-lowering drugs work better in some people than others. In research results published in the December issue of the journal Nature Genetics, the common minnow helps provide an answer.

A salt-water minnow, or mummichog.
Credit: Photo John Scarola / Courtesy of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Arlington, Va. -- Doctors and their patients have puzzled over why certain cholesterol-lowering drugs work better in some people than others. In research results published in the December issue of the journal Nature Genetics, the common minnow helps provide an answer.

Researchers Douglas Crawford and Jennifer Roach of the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) and Marjorie Oleksiak of North Carolina State University studied the genetic make-up of the fish and found that normal differences in how their heart muscles process fats and sugars contain clues to this mystery. The National Science Foundation (NSF)'s biocomplexity in the environment program, and biological oceanography program, funded the work.

"These scientists found a genetic set of keys that begins to unlock the mystery of why certain people can eat fatty foods and not suffer from heart disease, and why some medical treatments work more effectively in some people than in others," said Philip Taylor, director of NSF's biological oceanography program. "This far-reaching research is a result of NSF's investment in the use of genetics as a way of understanding how organisms adapt to their environments."

Some hearts, it turns out, use glucose (sugar) better than others. Some use fatty acids (fats) better. In general, if an individual is good at using or metabolizing one source, he or she is not good at using the other.

Using technology known as gene microarrays, the scientists were able to measure how the products of genes make proteins that in turn convert food sources into energy. They found a large variation from individual to individual in the number of genes associated with functions related to sugar and fat metabolism. Those differences explain much of the variation in cardiac metabolism of both sugar and fat, the researchers believe.

Surprisingly, the genes that matter most are not the same in each individual: in some, increases in certain genes affect the use of fats, while in others, they affect the use of sugars.

"This is an important first step in understanding why some of us can eat fatty foods and not suffer from cardiac disease," said Crawford, "and why some drugs or medical treatments work on some individuals but not on others."

Ultimately, the scientists think, their work could point the way toward identifying the number and type of certain genes a person has. With this information, doctors may be able to prescribe the most effective medication within a certain class of drugs to treat high cholesterol or blood sugar, and have a clearer understanding of an individual's propensity for heart disease.

The research was also funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Salt-water Minnow Research Helps Explain Human Cardiology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041203083523.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2004, December 16). Salt-water Minnow Research Helps Explain Human Cardiology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041203083523.htm
National Science Foundation. "Salt-water Minnow Research Helps Explain Human Cardiology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041203083523.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins