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Latest Mutation Stories

2011-12-28 07:48:27

Oxidative stress is the cause of many serious diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, arteriosclerosis and diabetes. It occurs when the body is exposed to excessive amounts of electrically charged, aggressive oxygen compounds. These are normally produced during breathing and other metabolic processes, but also in the case of ongoing stress, exposure to UV light or X-rays. If the oxidative stress is too high, it overwhelms the body's natural defenses. The aggressive oxygen compounds destroy...

2011-12-26 07:22:05

Biologists use technology to observe individual differences in fruit flies To track what they can't see, pilots look to the green glow of the radar screen. Now biologists monitoring gene expression, individual variation, and disease have a glowing green indicator of their own: Brown University biologists have developed a "radar" for tracking ADAR, a crucial enzyme for editing RNA in the nervous system. The advance gives scientists a way to view when and where ADAR is active in a living...

2011-12-22 07:17:39

Results of a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may help pave the way to a treatment for a neurogenetic disorder often misdiagnosed as cerebral palsy or autism. Known as Angelman syndrome, or AS, its most characteristic feature is the absence or near absence of speech throughout the person's life. Occurring in one in 15,000 live births, other AS characteristics include intellectual and developmental delay, severe intellectual disability, seizures, sleep...

2011-12-21 22:45:31

An international team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, reports that abnormal sequences of DNA known as rare copy number variants, or CNVs, appear to play a significant role in the risk for early onset bipolar disorder. The findings will be published in the Dec. 22 issue of the journal Neuron. CNVs are genomic alterations in which there are too few or too many copies of sections of DNA. Researchers have known that...

2011-12-19 14:16:11

Computer model reveals that spatial structure delays tumor formation Cancer growth normally follows a lengthy period of development. Over the course of time, genetic mutations often accumulate in cells, leading first to pre-cancerous conditions and ultimately to tumor growth. Using a mathematical model, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, University of Pennsylvania and University of California San Francisco, have now shown...

Image 1 - Close Family Ties Keep Microbial Cheaters In Check
2011-12-17 04:14:20

Experiments on "slime mold" explain why almost all multicellular organisms begin life as a single cell Any multicellular animal, from a blue whale to a human being, poses a special challenge for evolution. Most of the cells in its body will die without reproducing; only a privileged few will pass their genes to the next generation. How could the extreme degree of cooperation required by multicellular existence actually evolve? Why aren't all creatures unicellular individualists...

2011-12-16 14:08:31

Sequencing a cancer patient's 'exome' reveals mutations critical for improving diagnostic power and targeted therapy Cancer researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have carried out the first comprehensive study of the changes seen in the DNA of a patient with mast cell leukemia (MCL), an extremely aggressive subtype of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with a very poor prognosis. Their genomic survey has helped identify two previously unknown mutations that could directly...

2011-12-15 17:10:50

Experiments explain why almost all multicellular organisms begin life as a single cell Any multicellular animal, from a blue whale to a human being, poses a special difficulty for the theory of evolution. Most of the cells in its body will die without reproducing, and only a privileged few will pass their genes to the next generation. How could the extreme degree of cooperation multicellular existence requires ever evolve? Why aren't all creatures unicellular individualists determined...

2011-12-15 16:50:59

A new study has identified a gene mutation that researchers estimate dates back to 11,600 B.C., making it the second oldest human disease mutation yet discovered.   Researchers with the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center — Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute led the study and estimate that the mutation arose in the Middle East some 13,600 years ago. Only a mutation seen in cystic fibrosis that arose between 11,000 and 52,000...

2011-12-15 14:33:18

Scientists have uncovered a critical genetic mutation in some patients with myelodysplastic syndromes – a group of blood cancers that can progress to a fatal form of leukemia. The research team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis also found evidence that patients with the mutation are more likely to develop acute leukemia. While this finding needs to be confirmed in additional patients, the study raises the prospect that a genetic test could one day more...