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Tag Archives | Genetic

Young Human-Specific Genes Correlated With Brain Evolution

Young genes that appeared since the primate branch split from other mammal species are expressed in unique structures of the developing human brain, a new analysis finds. The correlation suggests that scientists studying the evolution of the human brain should look to genes considered recent by evolutionary standards and early stages of brain development.

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a stressed girl

Stress Can Impair Future Offspring, But Can Also Improve Resilience In Animal Model

The study found that stress experienced by young female rats can impair their future offspring, but can also improve resilience. The study also showed that providing the young stressed females with an enriched environment (often used to model therapy), can indeed ameliorate some of the effects. “The similarities between rats and humans raise the question of whether similar effects might transpire in humans; for example, exposure to war or natural disasters might have heritable effects,” explains Prof. Micah Leshem who headed the study.

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DNA

Scientists Show How Gene Variant Linked To ADHD Could Operate

A study using mice provides insight into how a specific receptor subtype in the brain could play a role in increasing a person’s risk for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The research, conducted by the Intramural Research Program (IRP) at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, could also help explain how stimulants work to treat symptoms of ADHD.

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Nir Barzilai, M.D.

Lifestyles Of The Old And Healthy Defy Expectations

People who live to 95 or older are no more virtuous than the rest of us in terms of their diet, exercise routine or smoking and drinking habits, according to researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Their findings, published today in the online edition of Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, suggests that “nature” (in the form of protective longevity genes) may be more important than “nurture” (lifestyle behaviors) when it comes to living an exceptionally long life. Included in this report is a video interview with the lead researcher.

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cellular MRNA process

New Understanding Of Brain Protein May Lead To New Therapies For Fragile X Syndrome Or Autism

Researchers now have a much clearer understanding of how mutations in a single gene can produce the complex cognitive deficits characteristic of Fragile X Syndrome, the most common inherited form of intellectual disability. As the majority of patients with Fragile X Syndrome also display autism-like symptoms, the findings offer hope for treating both conditions. The results are published in the July 22nd issue of the journal Cell, published by Cell Press.

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patient undergoing an MRI

One Of The Largest fMRI Studies Of Autism Conducted Discovers Biomarker For Autism

Siblings of people with autism show a similar pattern of brain activity to that seen in people with autism when looking at emotional facial expressions. The University of Cambridge researchers identified the reduced activity in a part of the brain associated with empathy and argue it may be a ‘biomarker’ for a familial risk of autism. The Medical Research Council funded study is published today, 12th July, in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

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Guy A. Rouleau, M.D., Ph.D.

‘De Novo Mutations’ Provide New Genetic Clues For The Causes Of Schizophrenia

De novo mutations – genetic errors that are present in patients but not in their parents – are more frequent in schizophrenic patients than in normal individuals, according to an international group of scientists led by Dr. Guy A. Rouleau of the University of Montreal and CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital. The discovery, published today inNature Genetics, may enable researchers to define how the disease results from these mutations and eventually develop new treatments for it.

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Joachim Hallmayer, M.D.

Twin Study Of Autism Spectrum Disorders Suggests Genetic Component May Be Moderate, While Environmental Component May Be Substantial

After evaluating twin pairs in which at least one child has autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), researchers suggest that the shared environment may play a more substantial role in development of the condition than shared genes do, according to a report published Online First today by Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. The study was conducted by Joachim Hallmayer, M.D., from Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, Calif., and colleagues.

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