Gene that regulates immune system linked to preeclampsia

Researchers at North Carolina State University have discovered that the placentas of women who suffer preeclampsia during pregnancy have an overabundance of a gene associated with the regulation of the body’s immune system. Their discovery may lead …

Being poor can suppress children’s genetic potentials

AUSTIN, Texas — Growing up poor can suppress a child’s genetic potential to excel cognitively even before the age of 2, according to research from psychologists at The University of Texas at Austin.
Half of the gains that wealthier children sho…

The risks and benefits of using poplars for biofuels

A potential solution for global energy demands is the use of Poplar, a fast-growing tree with high yields, for biofuels. To get the most out of Poplar plantations, varieties that are the best fit for the conditions — ones with disease resistance or…

Components of diabetes in African Americans have genetic underpinnings

American children whose genetic roots strongly reach back to Africa are less sensitive to insulin-a factor important in the development of type 2 diabetes-than those whose ancestors hailed heavily from Europe, according to study results released today. Rather than relying on broad categories of race, such as black or white, researchers in diabetes and obesity from the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the University of Alabama at Birmingham analyzed a group of children for 20 key genetic markers found far more often in those of African descent than those of European descent. They found that the more African-origin markers in children’s genetic makeup, the less their bodies responded to insulin-and the more insulin in their blood.

Slice that DNA carefully

The genome of the pufferfish, a Japanese delicacy, is teaching researchers about the more complex genetic makeup of humans. The pufferfish, or Fugu, has about the same number of genes as humans, but without most of the repetitive “junk” DNA found in naked apes, researchers at the Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, California, report. Fugu can pack a lethal tetrodotoxin whallop, but manages to do so with the smallest genome of any vertebrate. The findings were detailed in the journal Science and reported on by the Associated Press.

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