Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists analyze genetic makeup of human and mouse embryos in amazing detail

Date:
July 31, 2013
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Scientists have used the powerful technology of single-cell RNA sequencing to track the genetic development of a human and a mouse embryo at an unprecedented level of accuracy. The success of this technique could lead to genetic diagnoses of diseases with higher resolution and in embryos earlier than ever achieved before, even when the embryo consists of only eight cells.

UCLA scientists, in collaboration with teams in China, have used the powerful technology of single-cell RNA sequencing to track the genetic development of a human and a mouse embryo at an unprecedented level of accuracy.

Related Articles


The technique could lead to earlier and more accurate diagnoses of genetic diseases, even when the embryo consists of only eight cells.

The study was led by Guoping Fan, professor of human genetics and molecular biology and member of both the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research. The findings were published in the online edition of the journal Nature and will appear later in the print edition.

Single-cell RNA sequencing allows researchers to determine the precise nature of the total gene transcripts, or all of the genes that are actively expressed in a particular cell.

"The advantages of this technique are twofold," Fan said. "It is a much more comprehensive analysis than was achievable before and the technique requires a very minimal amount of sample material -- just one cell."

Besides its implications for genetic diagnoses -- such as improving scientists' ability to identify genetic mutations like BRCA1 and BRCA2, which predispose women to breast cancer and ovarian cancer, or genetic diseases that derive from protein dysfunction, such as sickle cell disease -- the technology may also have important uses in reproductive medicine.

The technique marks a major development in genetic diagnoses, which previously could not be conducted this early in embryonic development and required much larger amounts of biological material.

"Previous to this paper we did not know this much about early human development," said Kevin Huang, the study's co-first author and a postdoctoral scholar in Fan's laboratory. "Now we can define what 'normal' looks like, so in the future we will have a baseline from which to compare possible genetic problems. This is our first comprehensive glance at what is normal."

With single-cell RNA sequencing, much more gene transcription was detected than before. "The question we asked is, 'How does the gene network drive early development from one cell to two cells, two cells to four cells, and so on?'" Fan said. "Using the genome data analysis methods developed by co-author Steve Horvath at UCLA, we have uncovered crucial gene networks and we can now predict possible future genetic disorders at the eight-cell stage."

The research was supported by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, the International Science and Technology Cooperation Program of China, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. The original article was written by Shaun Mason. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Zhigang Xue, Kevin Huang, Chaochao Cai, Lingbo Cai, Chun-yan Jiang, Yun Feng, Zhenshan Liu, Qiao Zeng, Liming Cheng, Yi E. Sun, Jia-yin Liu, Steve Horvath, Guoping Fan. Genetic programs in human and mouse early embryos revealed by single-cell RNA sequencing. Nature, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nature12364

Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Scientists analyze genetic makeup of human and mouse embryos in amazing detail." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130731093917.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2013, July 31). Scientists analyze genetic makeup of human and mouse embryos in amazing detail. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130731093917.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Scientists analyze genetic makeup of human and mouse embryos in amazing detail." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130731093917.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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