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Novel Genes Found in Inflammatory Bowel Disease under Age 5

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Researchers analyzing the complicated genetic influences in inflammatory bowel disease have discovered new gene variants associated with an often-severe type of the disease that affects children under age five. The genes play key roles in immune function.

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Genetic Factors Drive Roles of Gut Bacteria in Diabetes and Obesity

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Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center found that one strain of mice which were genetically prone to become obese became resistant to excess weight gain after their populations of gut microbiota were transformed simply by an sharing an environment with other mice.

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Genetic Testing All Women for Breast Cancer Might Not Be Worth the Cost

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Women who are carriers of mutated BRCA genes are known to have a significantly higher risk for developing breast and ovarian cancers than those who don’t have the mutations. But a new study by UCLA faculty questions the value of screening for the genetic mutations in the general population—including those who do not have cancer or have no family history of the disease— because of the high cost.

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Flu Study, on Hold, Yields New Vaccine Technology

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Vaccines to protect against an avian influenza pandemic as well as seasonal flu may be mass produced more quickly and efficiently using technology described today (Sept. 2) by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the journal Nature Communications.

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Assessing Bacteria Growth Rate Gives Novel Insight into Health and Microbiome

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Investigating how the microbiome impacts human health, the labs of Dr. Eran Elinav and Prof. Eran Segal at the Weizmann Institute of Science took a fresh approach: measuring the growth rate of the bacteria. The findings led Dr. Elinav to say, “microbial growth rate reveals things about our health that cannot be seen with any other analysis method.”

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Genetic Landscape Can Impact Treatment for Children with Rare, Aggressive Cancer

For children with rare, aggressive and advanced cancer, precision medicine may help doctors determine their best treatment options, a new study finds. Using information from a patient’s entire genome helped suggest personalized treatment options for nearly half of children with cancer, and led to specific treatment changes in a quarter of these patients.

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Newer Genetic Testing Methods May Provide Benefit For Children With Suspected Autism

The use of two newer genetic testing technologies (chromosomal microarray analysis and whole-exome sequencing) among children with autism spectrum disorder may help identify genetic mutations potentially linked to the disorder, according to a study in the September 1 issue of JAMA. The study also found that children with certain physical anomalies were more likely to have genetic mutations, findings that may help identify children who could benefit most from genetic testing.

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Gene Leads to Nearsightedness When Kids Read

Vision researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have discovered a gene that causes myopia, but only in people who spend a lot of time in childhood reading or doing other “nearwork.”

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Physics Meets Biology to Defeat Aging

The scientific team of a new biotech company Gero in collaboration with one of the leading academics in the field of aging, Prof. Robert J. Shmookler Reis, has recently brought new insights into biology of aging and age-related diseases, primarily, around the stability and stress resistance of certain gene regulatory networks.

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An Ounce of Prevention: Research Advances on ‘Scourge’ of Transplant Wards

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The fungus Cryptococcus causes meningitis, a brain disease that kills about 1 million people each year. It’s difficult to treat because fungi are genetically quite similar to humans, so compounds that affect fungi tend to have toxic side effects for patients. Now, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have identified 18 proteins that play a role in spore formation and germination. The findings raises the possibility of preventing the disease by blocking the spores’ germination.

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#PCOS Research Offers Hope for #Infertility @UofUHealthCare expert available

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Research Identifies a Protein That Helps Determine the Fate of RNA

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RNA can be translated into protein or transformed into gene-regulating molecules. A newly discovered “reader” protein recognizes a chemical instruction tag affixed to RNA, an important step in determining the RNA’s destiny. Because of the fundamental processes involved, this research has implications for cells’ normal function and disease.

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Retinoids May Increase Effectiveness of Targeted Therapies Against High-Risk Leukemia

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Scientists led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have identified how mutations in the IKZF1 gene contribute to a high-risk leukemia subtype and drugs that may enhance the effectiveness of targeted therapy

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Researchers Reveal How a Common Mutation Causes Neurodegenerative Disease

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St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and University of Massachusetts Medical School uncover the mechanism underlying the most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia

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Top Stories 26 August 2015

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First-Ever Comprehensive Study of Genetic Risks for Inflammatory Bowel Disease in African-Americans

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, along with colleagues at Emory University and Cedars-Sinai, have published in the journal Gastroenterology the first major, in-depth analysis of genetic risk factors of inflammatory bowel disease in African-Americans.

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Relapse, Poor Survival in Leukemia Linked to Genetic Mutations That Persist in Remission

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For patients with an often-deadly form of leukemia, new research suggests that lingering cancer-related mutations – detected after initial treatment with chemotherapy – are associated with an increased risk of relapse and poor survival. Using genetic profiling to study bone marrow samples from patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), researchers found that those whose cells still carried mutations 30 days after the initiation of chemotherapy were about three times more likely to relapse and die than patients whose bone marrow was cleared of these mutations. The study, by a team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is published Aug. 25 in JAMA.

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Bacterial Infection Makes Farmers Out of Amoebae

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A bacterial infection turns non-farming social amoebae into farmers Washington University evolutionary biologists report in the August 24 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Top Stories 24 August 2015

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Genetic Overlapping in Multiple Autoimmune Diseases May Suggest Common Therapies

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Scientists who analyzed the genes involved in 10 autoimmune diseases that begin in childhood have found 22 genome-wide signals shared by two or more diseases. These shared gene sites may reveal potential targets for treatment with existing drugs.