Gene analysis finds ‘fingerprint’ of defects in heart development

Using a multiple-gene analysis technique, German researchers have gained new insights into specific genetic alterations that lead to congenital heart defects, according to a report in today’s rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. The technique, called microarray analysis, allowed investigators to identify specific patterns of gene expression in the entire human genome associated with common types of congenital heart defects. They sought to demonstrate the feasibility of using gene array analysis to study congenital heart defects. But their findings could represent an early step toward developing effective strategies to improve the quality of life in children and adults with heart defects.

Researchers Identify Gene Pathway Causing Pulmonary Hypertension

Researchers have identified an over-active gene and the molecular events it triggers to cause acquired cases of pulmonary hypertension, a form of high blood pressure in the lungs that kills about one percent of the population each year. The findings, published in the February 6, 2003 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, offer the first specific molecular targets for development of new therapies.