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.

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 April 19, 2014 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 April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. 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:
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