Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Understanding the effects of genes on human traits

Date:
July 31, 2013
Source:
McGill University Health Centre
Summary:
Recent technological developments in genomics have revealed a large number of genetic influences on common complex diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, cancer or schizophrenia. However, discovering a genetic variant predisposing to a disease is only a first step. Scientists now propose a novel approach for scanning the entire genome that will help us understand the effect of genes on human traits.

Recent technological developments in genomics have revealed a large number of genetic influences on common complex diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, cancer or schizophrenia. However, discovering a genetic variant predisposing to a disease is only a first step. To apply this knowledge towards prevention or cure, including tailoring treatment to the patient's genetic profile -also known as personalized medicine -- we need to know how this genetic variant affects health.

Related Articles


In a study published today in Nature Communications, Dr. Constantin Polychronakos from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), and collaborators from McGill University and The University of Texas, propose a novel approach for scanning the entire genome that will help us understand the effect of genes on human traits.

"This completely new methodology really opens up different ways of understanding how the genome affects the biology of the human body," says Dr. Polychronakos, corresponding author of the study and Director of the Endocrine Genetics Laboratory at the Montreal Children's Hospital and Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Human Genetics at McGill University.

DNA is the blueprint according to which our body is constructed and functions. Cells "read" this blueprint by transcribing the information into RNA, which is then used as a template to construct proteins -- the body's building blocks. Genes are scanned based on the association of their RNA with ribosomes -- particles in which protein synthesis takes place.

"Until now, researchers have been focusing on the effects of disease-associated genomic variants on DNA-to-RNA transcription, instead of the challenging question of effects on RNA-to-protein translation," says Dr. Polychronakos. "Thanks to this methodology, we can now better understand the effect of genetic variants on translation of RNA to protein -- a powerful way of developing biomarkers for personalized medicine and new therapies."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University Health Centre. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Quan Li, Angeliki Makri, Yang Lu, Luc Marchand, Rosemarie Grabs, Marylene Rousseau, Houria Ounissi-Benkalha, Jerry Pelletier, Francis Robert, Eef Harmsen, Thomas J. Hudson, Tomi Pastinen, Constantin Polychronakos, Hui-Qi Qu. Genome-wide search for exonic variants affecting translational efficiency. Nature Communications, 2013; 4 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3260

Cite This Page:

McGill University Health Centre. "Understanding the effects of genes on human traits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130731164757.htm>.
McGill University Health Centre. (2013, July 31). Understanding the effects of genes on human traits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130731164757.htm
McGill University Health Centre. "Understanding the effects of genes on human traits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130731164757.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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