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Category Archives: Human Genetics

Genetics Are the New Eugenics: How GMO’s Reduce the Human Population – Center for Research on Globalization

Posted: February 26, 2017 at 10:50 pm

The following is from an interview transcript

Last year, we had a series of mergers in the agribusiness GMO-corporations worldwide. This has created an alarming concentration of corporate power in the hands of basically three corporate groups.

The first one is Bayer AG of Germany, which made a friendly takeover of Monsanto. The reason for this was that Monsanto became identified in the public mind as pure evil and everything bad about GMOs, which was accurate. This became a burden on the whole GMO project. So, Bayer stepped in, which has a friendly image of an aspirin, harmless, nice company, but in fact is the company that invented heroin in the 1880s and made gas for the ovens of Auschwitz during WWII. Its one of the dirtiest agribusiness companies in the world with a series of homicides and pesticides that killed off bee colonies and many other things that are essential to life and to nature. Rijavec (public domain)

ChemChina China State Chemical giant for some reason took over Swiss Syngenta, which makes weed-killers.

Then, Dow Chemicals and DuPont merged their GMO businesses together.

So, we have three gigantic corporate groups worldwide controlling the genetically-modified part of the human food chain. As dangerous as the GMO crops are and the more they sell, it is becoming more and more obvious that they are the chemicals that by contract must be applied to those GMO seeds by the corporations. They demand that if you buy roundup ready soybeans or corn, you must use Monsanto (now Bayer) roundup.

Therefore, this is giving more corporate power to the GMO industry than ever before and thats an alarming trend. They are putting pressure on the bureaucracy in Brussels. One example: there was a massive public campaign against the renewal of the license of the European Commission for Glyphosate. Glyphosate is the most widely used weed-killer in the world. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Monsantos roundup. The other ingredients are Monsantos corporate secret, but the combination of them is one of the most deadly weed-killers.

The World Health Organizations body responsible for assessing genetic dangers made a ruling the last year that Glyphosate was a probable cancer-causing agent.

The license came up for automatic renewal last year a 15-year license. The EU commission for health was prepared to automatically renew it for 15 years. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which is responsible allegedly for the health and safety of European citizens, recommended approval based on a German study by the German Food Safety Agency that was simply lifted 100% from studies given by the private corporation Monsanto! So, the whole chain was corrupt from the beginning and all the information was rigged. In reality tests have shown that in minuscule concentrations, lower than in recommended levels in Europe and in the US, Glyphosate causes kidney disease, liver disease, and other illnesses that are potentially fatal.

Now, Glyphosate has shown up in urine tests, in urban drinking water, in gardens, in ground water and so forth. And that gets into the system of childbearing women, for example, with embryo. Its all in this!

The EU commission, despite a million petitions this is a record setting and despite recommendations from leading scientists around the world to not renew the license, made a compromise under huge industry pressure and renewed it for 18 months. Why did they renew it for that time? Because at the end of 18 months, they were told by Bayer and Monsanto that the takeover of those two giant corporations will be completed and Bayer is going to replace Glyphosate with another, likely more deadly toxin, but not so well-known as Glyphosate. So, they simply bought time. And that is just one example.

This agenda of GMO is not about the health and safety; its not about increasing crop yields thats a lie that has been proven in repeated tests in North America and all around the world. Crop yields for farmers, using GMO plants, may increase slightly for the first 1-2 harvest years, but ultimately decline after 3-4 years. And not only that! Weve been promised by Monsanto and other GMO giants that the use of chemicals will be less, because of these wonderful traits that GMO plants resist. In fact, the weeds become resistant and you have super weeds, which are 5-6 feet in a height and choke out everything. Its a catastrophe. So, farmers end up using added weed killers to kill the super weeds. This whole mad playing around with the genetic makeup of nature is a disaster from the beginning.

The real agenda of GMO, which I have documented in great detail in my book Seeds of Destruction, comes from the Rockefeller Foundation. It comes out of the 1920s-1930s Eugenics movement. The Rockefeller Foundation during the 1930s, right up to the outbreak of World War II when it became politically embracing too, financed the Nazi Eugenics experiments of Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin and in Munich. Why did they do this? Their goal was the elimination of what they called undesirable eaters. That is called population reduction.

After the war, the head of the American Eugenic Society, who was a good friend of John D. Rockefeller, at the annual conference of the American Eugenic Society said: From today, the new name of eugenics is genetics. Moreover, if you keep that in mind genetic engineering, the Human Genome Project and so forth they all are scientific frauds. Russian scientists have proven that the entire Genome Project utterly disregarded 98% of the scientifically valuable data in favor of 2% that was completely nonsense and a waste of billions of dollars.

Therefore, they have been obsessed with the idea of how to reduce human population in a way that would not be so obvious as simply going out and carrying out mass-sterilization.

Actually, they have done that in Central America together with the World Health Organization by giving certain vaccines that they cooked-up to have abortive effects. Therefore, the women of child-bearing age in Central America were given these vaccines against tetanus. The organization of the Catholic Church became suspicious because the shots were given only to women, not to men. And they found that there was buried in the vaccine an abortive effect that made it impossible for women to conceive and bear children. This is all covert population reduction.

These are the Western patriarchs who believe they are the gods, sitting on the throne with great dignity, controlling mankind. I think they are a bunch of fools, but they have this agenda of genetic manipulation. Its against nature, its chemically unstable. And I have to congratulate the Russian Federation that they had the courage and the moral concern for their own population to ban GMO cultivation across Russia. That was a step forward for mankind. I would hope that Russia will use its influence to get China to do the similar thing, because their agriculture is in dire need of some healthy Russian input. But this step by Russia to make a GMO-free agriculture is a great step for mankind.

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Genetics Are the New Eugenics: How GMO’s Reduce the Human Population – Center for Research on Globalization

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Clues to relationship between schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis – Science Daily

Posted: at 10:50 pm

Clues to relationship between schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis
Science Daily
… if individual genetic variants may exist that could have opposing effects on the risk of schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis," said co-senior author Vishwajit Nimgaonkar M.D., Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at Pitt's School of Medicine and human

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Art Made with Human DNA Explores the Future of Genetics in Birmingham – (blog)

Posted: February 25, 2017 at 2:51 pm

Gene Craft: Art in the Biogenetic Ageopened this week at Birmingham Open Media (BOM) in the UK. Aiming to explore thesocial, economic and emotional implications of the most recent breakthroughs in genetics, the exhibition features two living art piecescreated with human DNAby bioartists Laurie Ramsell and Gina Czarnecki.

After theHuman Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) approvedthe technology to create three-parent babies in the UK last December, many have started to question the broader implications of genetic technologies. The Gene Craft exhibition elaborates on this concept by presenting living artwork that makes visitors imagine a future of bioengineered beings built and controlled by humans.

The first piece is by British artist Laurie Ramsell,who explores the genetic relationship between humans and model organisms. One of them is the zebrafish, which is routinely used in research to understand basic molecular processes that can then be extrapolated to human biology.

Laurie Ramsells Homdanio Birminghamensis

Homdanio Birminghamensisis a sculpture taking the shape of a zebrafish embryo made from bacterial cellulose and the artists own DNA. The piecewas created in collaboration with professor and bioartist Simon Park. As part of the 100,000 Genomes Project, it is intended to raise public awareness about research into the human genome being pioneered at the University of Birmingham.

The second piece featured in the Gene Craft exhibition is Gina Czarneckis Heirloom, a living portrait of the artists daughters. Skin cells from the girls are cultured and grown onto glass casts of their faces, creating paper-thin portraits with their own DNA.

Gina Czarneckis Heirloom

Heirloom invites visitors to imagine a future where our own cells are grown on demand for medical applications. But, at the same time, it intends to highlight the ethical implicationsof these procedures regarding the ownership of our own biological materials.

Gene Craft: Art in the Biogenetic Age will be open until May 13 in Birmingham. During that time, the BOM gallery will host a series of talks and workshops to bring together artists and scientists and discuss the issues raised by the bioart pieces exhibited.

Images via BOM and Gina Czarnecki

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Two Different Genetic Conditions Can Combine to Cause Severe … – Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Posted: February 24, 2017 at 5:54 pm

Scientists from the Rockefeller University have led a team of researchers to uncover how two different conditionsa genetic immunodeficiency and delayed acquired immunity–can combine to produce a life-threatening infection.

In the study (“Human Adaptive Immunity Rescues an Inborn Error of Innate Immunity”),published online inCell,Jean-Laurent Casanova, M.D., Ph.D., head ofSt. Giles Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseasesand a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator,and his colleagues focused on the case of an otherwise healthy young girl who developed a life-threatening infection from a common strain of bacterium. Most of us carry Staphylococcus aureuson our skin and in our nostrils. It can cause minor infections (staph infections), but in some people, it results in severe disease.

The young girl’s illness was mysterious. She had no known risk factors that would lead her to develop the acute form of the disease, and none of her family members had contracted it. So Dr. Casanova’s group set out to define the underlying cause of her disease by searching her DNA for mutations that might make her more susceptible to staph disease.They quickly identified a likely culprita single-letter substitution in the two copies of a gene that encodes for the TIRAP, or Toll-interleukin 1 receptor domain containing adaptor, protein, used by specific immune cells to flag invading bacteria.

In laboratory experiments, the researchers found that TIRAP is critical for cells in the immune system’s first line of defense against invaders. These are cells that develop before we are born, with built-in recognition systems for a host of molecules that are frequently present on the surface of invaders.

“We were sure this was the explanation for the severity of her staphylococcal disease,” says Dr. Casanova. “We thought we had it all figured out.”

But things turned out to be more complicated. To test his hypothesis, Dr. Casanova decided to analyze the DNA of other members of the patient’s family. They hadn’t suffered from severe staph infections, so they should have had normal TIRAP genes. However, he found the oppositeall seven members of her family had the same mutation as the young patient.

The researchers now had two questions instead of just one. Why did this child get the invasive disease? And why were the rest of her family seemingly immune, even though they shared her immune-compromising mutation?

The answers lie in a second line of immune defense that is not encoded within our DNA at birth. These secondary defenses are dependent on cells that generate antibodies against foreign compounds. “This is not something we are born with, but instead it is resistance that we acquire over the course of our lifetime when we are exposed to new pathogens,” Dr. Casanova explains.

The researchers found that the patient lacked antibodies against a single molecule, known as lipoteichoic acid (LTA), but the levels were normal for all of her family members. LTA is present on the surface of staphylococcal bacteria, and normally it is recognized by immune cells in both lines of defense.

The antibodies against LTA were able to restore the function of the patient’s immune cells in culture systems, and the researchers went on to confirm their hypothesis using a mouse model of the disease.

The results explain both why the patient developed life-threatening disease and why her family members didn’t.

“Her illness likely resulted from failures in both lines of immunity. In her family, the second layer of defense compensated for genetic defects in the first,” explains Dr. Casanova. “More broadly, it offers insight into how two people with the same infection, and even the same DNA, can have very different illnesses.”

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Two Different Genetic Conditions Can Combine to Cause Severe … – Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

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Neanderthal DNA contributes to human gene expression – Popular Archaeology

Posted: February 23, 2017 at 12:49 pm

CELL PRESSThe last Neanderthal died 40,000 years ago, but much of their genome lives on, in bits and pieces, through modern humans. The impact of Neanderthals’ genetic contribution has been uncertain: Do these snippets affect our genome’s function, or are they just silent passengers along for the ride? In Cell on February 23, researchers report evidence that Neanderthal DNA sequences still influence how genes are turned on or off in modern humans. Neanderthal genes’ effects on gene expression likely contribute to traits such as height and susceptibility to schizophrenia or lupus, the researchers found.

“Even 50,000 years after the last human-Neanderthal mating, we can still see measurable impacts on gene expression,” says geneticist and study co-author Joshua Akey of the University of Washington School of Medicine. “And those variations in gene expression contribute to human phenotypic variation and disease susceptibility.”

Previous studies have found correlations between Neanderthal genes and traits such as fat metabolism, depression, and lupus risk. However, figuring out the mechanism behind the correlations has proved difficult. DNA can be extracted from fossils and sequenced, but RNA cannot. Without this source of information, scientists can’t be sure exactly if Neanderthal genes functioned differently than their modern human counterparts. They can, however, look to gene expression in modern humans who possess Neanderthal ancestry.

In this study, researchers analyzed RNA sequences in a dataset called the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) Project, looking for people who carried both Neanderthal and modern human versions of any given gene–one version from each parent. For each such gene, the investigators then compared expression of the two alleles head-to-head in 52 different tissues.

“We find that for about 25% of all those sites that we tested, we can detect a difference in expression between the Neanderthal allele and the modern human allele,” says the study’s first author, UW postdoctoral researcher Rajiv McCoy.

Expression of Neanderthal alleles tended to be especially low in the brain and the testes, suggesting that those tissues may have experienced more rapid evolution since we diverged from Neanderthals approximately 700,000 years ago. “We can infer that maybe the greatest differences in gene regulation exist in the brain and testes between modern humans and Neanderthals,” says Akey.

One example uncovered by this study is a Neanderthal allele of a gene called ADAMTSL3 that decreases risk of schizophrenia, while also influencing height. “Previous work by others had already suggested that this allele affects alternative splicing. Our results support this molecular model, while also revealing that the causal mutation was inherited from Neanderthals,” says McCoy. Alternative splicing refers to a process in which mRNAs are modified before they leave the cell’s nucleus. When the Neanderthal mutation is present, the cell’s machinery removes a segment of the mRNA that is expressed in the modern human version. The cell ends up making a modified protein because of a single mutation from a Neanderthal ancestor.

The connection between that modified protein, height, and schizophrenia still requires more investigation, but it’s an example of how small differences between modern humans and Neanderthals can contribute to variation in people.

“Hybridization between modern humans and Neanderthals increased genomic complexity,” explains Akey. “Hybridization wasn’t just something that happened 50,000 years ago that we don’t have to worry about anymore. Those little bits and pieces, our Neanderthal relics, are influencing gene expression in pervasive and important ways.”


This visual abstract depicts the findings of McCoy et al., who show genome-wide interrogation of the functional differences between modern human and Neanderthal alleles reveals that Neanderthal-inherited sequences are not silent remnants of ancient interbreeding but have a measurable impact on gene expression that may contribute to phenotypic variation in modern humans. Credit:McCoy et al./Cell 2017


Next steps may include investigating whether Denisovans–another species of hominins that crossbred with modern humans–are contributing to gene expression, as well as applying the side-by-side method of expression analysis more broadly. For this study, McCoy and his colleagues had to develop a new statistical approach to sift through the immense amount of RNA data, but the same technique could be used to compare gene expression differences between modern human alleles.

Article Source: Cell Press news release.Cell(@CellCellPress), the flagship journal of Cell Press, is a bimonthly journal that publishes findings of unusual significance in any area of experimental biology, including but not limited to cell biology, molecular biology, neuroscience, immunology, virology and microbiology, cancer, human genetics, systems biology, signaling, and disease mechanisms and therapeutics. Visit: To receive Cell Press media alerts, contact[emailprotected].

Cell, McCoy et al.: “Impacts of Neanderthal-introgressed sequences on the landscape of human gene expression”


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This richly illustrated issue includes the following stories: Recent findings shedding new light on the whereabouts of the remains of Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great; how an archaeologist-sculptor is bringing bones of the dead back to life; archaeologists uncovering town life at the dawn of civilization; an exclusive interview with internationally acclaimed archaeologist James M. Adovasio about what makes the Meadowcroft Rockshelter prominent in the ongoing search for the first Americans; what archaeologists are finding at the site of the ancient city of Gath, the home town of the biblical Philistine giant, Goliath; and how scientists are redrawing the picture of human evolution in Europe.Find it on

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Is Genetic Engineering Recreating the Sin of Noah’s Generation? – Breaking Israel News

Posted: February 22, 2017 at 3:49 am

Consider the work of God; for who can make that straight, which He hath made crooked? Ecclesiastes 7:13 (The Israel Bible)


New technology enabling scientists to manipulate genes, mixing human genes and organs with those of animals, is a disturbing trend in science which one rabbi believes mirrors the sin that led to global destruction in the generation of Noah.

Last week, the National Academies of Sciences and Medicine released a new report including recommendations to ensure genetic research done in the United States is performed responsibly and ethically. In essence, this report gave the greenlight to gene research, even though funding for such research is currently banned by the government because of the ethical dilemmas it raises.

The new technology bears with it practical risk. Genetic research can take two forms: gene editing to cure or prevent disease, and gene editing to enhance humans. Genetics is uncharted territory and scientists could accidentally introduce a dangerous mutation that will harm future generations, or, in an attempt to create vaccines, inadvertently create a superior form of the disease which could threaten mankind.

Rabbi Moshe Avraham Halperin of the Machon Madai Technology Al Pi Halacha (the Institute for Science and Technology According to Jewish Law) stated in response to the report that there are clear Torah guidelines for this new technology. Rabbi Halperin referred to the Biblical law concerning mixing of species.

Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee. Leviticus 19:19

It is forbidden to create a creature that is a mixture of species, but as long as they are not producing a new creature that has a different form, it is permitted, Rabbi Halperin told Breaking Israel News.

However, he noted, Improving species, even the human race, is not forbidden by Jewish law. Changing the color of the skin or hair is permitted, even more so when it concerns removing genetic maladies. But the process certainly needs oversight.

Rabbi Yosef Berger, rabbi of the Tomb of King David on Mount Zion, stressed that the issue of mixing species had serious Biblical ramifications, noting that the verse forbidding mixing breeds of animals directly preceded a section of the Torah dealing with sexual impropriety.

And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free. Leviticus 19:20

The rabbi explained the connection between the two distinct commandments.

This is also expressed in the sin of the generation of Noah, which, according to Jewish tradition was the forbidden mixing of animals and man, Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News, quoting Genesis.

And Hashem said: I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and creeping thing, and fowl of the air; for it repenteth Me that I have made them. Genesis 6:7

Noahs generation sinned sexually, but it was expressed in the mixing of species, he explained.

This sexual sin could prevent the coming Messianic era as the connection between man and woman is a holy part of the process of bringing geula (redemption). This is the basis of the requirement to be fruitful and multiply: to bring Moshiach (Messiah).

Rabbi Berger stressed that this mitzvah(Torah commandment) requires a proper level of purity. Mixing of species is an improper manifestation of procreation that led to the destruction of the generation of Noah.

Thus, even when saving lives, one of the most important mitzvot, one must be mindful of dangers and limits, Rabbi Berger cautioned.

The limits of science and ethics are indeed being expanded and tested in remarkable ways. In 2015, several groundbreaking experiments took place in genetic engineering. A herd of cloned cattle, genetically engineered with human DNA, were used to incubate antibodies against the Ebola virus. In the same year, scientists at Duke University announced that they had successfully boosted brain size in mice by using human DNA as a catalyst.

Also at Duke, kidneys from aborted human fetuses were transplanted into rats in order to determine if human organs could be grown in animals, solving the problem of organ donations.

In one particularly disturbing case, geneticists in China modified the DNA of human embryos, concentrating on the gene responsible for -thalassaemia, a potentially fatal blood disorder. However, in their final report, the researchers said they found a surprising number of unintended mutations.

These experiments illustrate just some of the astounding areas researchers are exploring. The science involved is staggering, but the ethical considerations are even more perplexing, and less likely to receive clear-cut answers.

Certain areas of research in the United States are stalled until the issue of abortions is resolved, establishing once and for all the legal status of fetuses and embryos. Manipulating genes in utero to eradicate genetic disease can alleviate great suffering, but brushes up against eugenics, the intentional improving of the human race. Negative eugenics were first espoused by the Nazis and other racist ideologies as a method of creating a master race.

The research takes on dark spiritual overtones in the context of the growing transhumanism movement, which believes that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations by means of science and technology.

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New Marshfield Clinic study aims to ID genetic factors linked to severity of blastomycosis illnesses – Wisconsin State Farmer

Posted: February 20, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Wisconsin State Farmer 10:45 a.m. CT Feb. 20, 2017

Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation(Photo: Supplied)

Marshfield -Marshfield Clinic scientists have launched a new study aimed at determining which genetic factors increase peoples susceptibility to blastomycosis, a deadly fungal infection found throughout central and northern Wisconsin.

The first phase will include recruitment of up to 350 study participants. Anyone previously diagnosed with blastomycosis, or blasto, is encouraged to participate in the study, which could give doctors insight into a mysterious disease that has impacted Wisconsinites for generations.

Were in the heart of blasto country; one significant frustration is we dont know a lot about the disease, said Dr. Holly Frost, study co-investigator and pediatrician at Marshfield Clinic Minocqua Center. If we can find genetic variations that indicate which people respond severely to this disease, it could speed up diagnoses and allow doctors to treat it earlier.

A concern with blasto is the spectrum of severity among patients of all ages and overall health. For instance, the lung infection may spread quickly in a healthy child, resulting in death. Meanwhile, a 70-year-old adult with a compromised immune system may recover quickly.

Thats why its so important researchers unearth any genetic clues that could put doctors closer to understanding blastomycosis, said Jennifer Meece, Ph.D., a Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation (MCRF) scientist and national blasto expert who has studied the disease for more than 10 years.

Scientists know breathing in a naturally occurring fungus often found in moist soil containing rotting plants and wood causes blasto and most infections occur in spring and fall. However, symptoms are similar to other respiratory illnesses, making it difficult to identify early. Also, symptoms dont develop until 3-15 weeks after infection. And while its classified as a rare disease nationally, cases in Wisconsin far exceed the national average.

So much about blastomycosis remains unknown and seemingly random from who is susceptible to what exactly spurs an outbreak but we know the answers are on the horizon, said Meece, co-investigator and director of MCRFs Integrated Research and Development Laboratory. Its enthralling to launch such a study that could impact so many peoples lives.

The study is open to children and adults in Wisconsin, regardless of where they were diagnosed. Study participants do not need to be Marshfield Clinic patients. Due to budget constraints, this first study requires all participants speak English, given no resources for translation.

Participation requires about one hour of clinic time for researchers to gather a sample, explain the study and answer questions. Each participant will receive $25. For more information call 715-221-6445 or email

This study is funded by $150,000 from the Marshfield Clinic Developments Clinician Scientist Research Award.

Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation (MCRF), a division of Marshfield Clinic, was founded in 1959. Its the largest private medical research institute in Wisconsin. MCRF consists of research centers in clinical research, agricultural health and safety, epidemiology, human genetics, and biomedical informatics. Marshfield Clinic investigators publish extensively in peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals addressing a wide range of diseases and other health issues, including cancer, infectious diseases, heart disease, diabetes, eye disease, neurological disease, pediatrics, radiology, women’s health, agricultural safety and genetics.

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Human Genetics Contributes To Zika-Induced Brain Damage – (blog)

Posted: at 6:48 pm Interview with:

Dr. Ping Wu

Ping Wu, MD, PhDJohn S. Dunn Distinguished Chair in Neurological Recovery Professor, Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, TX 77555-0620 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Zika viral infection poses a major global public health threat, evidenced by recent outbreaks in America with many cases of microcephaly in newborns and other neurological impairments. A critical knowledge gap in our understanding is the role of host determinants of Zika-mediated fetal malformation. For example, not all infants born to Zika-infected women develop microcephaly, and there is a wide range of Zika-induced brain damage. To begin to fill the gap, we infected brain stem cells that were derived from three human donors, and found that only two of them exhibited severer deficits in nerve cell production along with aberrant alterations in gene expression. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our study indicates that human genetic makeup may be a determinant for the severity of Zika-induced brain damage. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Further studies are needed to identitywhat genes contribute to the human differences after Zika infection. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: It is known that not all Zika virus strains causemicrocephaly. Our study now shows that brain cells from different human individuals can respond to the same Zika virus strain differently.Understanding the molecular mechanisms of human and viral determinants in response to Zika injection will provide important insights into new strategies to minimize ZIKV-mediated fetal brain malformations. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Stem Cell Reports:

Differential Responses of Human Fetal Brain Neural Stem Cells to Zika Virus Infection

Erica L. McGrath10,Shannan L. Rossi10,Junling Gao10,Steven G. Widen,Auston C. Grant,Tiffany J. Dunn,Sasha R. Azar, Christopher M. Roundy,Ying Xiong,Deborah J. Prusak,Bradford D. Loucas,Thomas G. Wood,Yongjia Yu,Ildefonso Fernndez-Salas,Scott C. Weaver,Nikos Vasilakis ,Ping Wu10Co-first author Published Online: February 16, 2017

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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New research facility opens at Greenwood Genetics Center – Greenville News

Posted: February 19, 2017 at 10:51 am

Self Regional Hall(Photo: Craig Mahaffey/Clemson University)

A new facility that will house the Clemson University Center for Human Genetics has opened at the Greenwood Genetic Center.

The $6 million 17,000-square-foot structure, named Self Regional Hall, will allowClemsons growing genetics program to collaborate closely withresearchers at the center and to focus on early diagnostic tools for autism, cognitive developmental disorders, cancer and rare metabolic disorders.

Opening Self Regional Hall means that we will be able to do even more to help children with genetic disordersand their families, and to educate graduate students who will go out into the world and make their own impact, said Clemson University President James P. Clements, who has a child with special needs.

As you all know,” he added, “an early diagnosis can make a huge difference for a child and their family because the earlier you can figure out what a child needs the earlier you can intervene and begin treatment.

The building will house eight laboratories and several classrooms, conference rooms and offices for graduate students and faculty, officials said.

GCC director Dr. Steve Skinner said the facilityis the nextstep in a collaboration of more than 20 years.

“We look forward to our joint efforts with both Clemson and Self Regional Healthcare to advance the research and discoveries that will increase our understanding and treatment of human genetic disorders, he said.

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CRISPR Will Never Be Good Enough to Improve People | The … – Huffington Post

Posted: at 10:50 am

The CRISPR/Cas9 (CRISPR) technique has been used to modify genes in animals, plants and fungi, organisms different from and more complex than the bacteria in which the molecular components originally evolved. It has undergone several refinements since its introduction, each iteration proving more accurate, with fewer off-target effects. The Stanford University bioethicist Hank Greely contemplates using CRISPR to touch up human embryos which have been produced by in vitro fertilization and prescreened for overall suitability by gene sequencing . George Church, a Harvard University genetic technologist and entrepreneur, advocates a more aggressive program of CRISPR-mediated genetic improvements to future generations.

Claims of the near-infallibility of CRISPR may be overstated, but even if it could be made to operate perfectly, would using CRISPR to improve humans by altering embryos ever be justified? Since CRISPR acts on genes, not traits (which are presumably the target of any prospective modification), the answer to this question depends the relationship between them.

In fact, there is a growing realization that DNA is far from the code of life it has long been claimed to be. Geneticists commonly use terms like epigenetics (functional effects from chemical modifications of genes), epistasis (consequences of interaction between the products of different genes), and incomplete penetrance (failure of a gene to have its default effect), to signal their expectation that, apart from such exceptions, a gene, or ensemble of genes will influence a trait in a reliable fashion. But it appears that it is the well-behaved gene that may be the exception. A study in the journal Genome Research reported that the genes of monozygotic (identical) twins exhibit different patterns of activity-affecting modification from early stages of development. A review article in the journal Human Genetics discussed the implications of the many known examples of ‘disease-causing mutations’ that fail to cause disease in at least a proportion of the individuals who carry them. The authors noted that in some cases the ability of a bad gene to cause disease appears to require the presence of one or more genetic variants at other loci. An unstated implication of this is that when a typically pathogenic genetic variant is compensated by a second one, replacing it by its wild type or common counterpart would likely cause problems.

Surveying a rash of new data casting doubt on soundness of the received corpus of human genetics, a recent editorial in the journal Nature asserted in that many [human] genetic mutations have been misclassified as harmful. This accompanied a news feature that began Lurking in the genes of the average person are 54 mutations that look as if they should sicken or even kill their bearer. But they dont.

Part of the reason for the disarray in the field is the notion, long rejected by geneticists but difficult to completely dispel, that individual genes map one-to-one to specific traits or diseases. But recent research suggests that the problems of genotype-phenotype mapping go much deeper, to the concept of the gene itself. One problem is the fact that genomes have unique evolutionary histories. The genes that helped establish the basic body plans and organ structures of animals around 600 million years ago still operate in present-day species, but they have diverged in their precise functions, partnering with different accessory genes in different kinds of animals, even when making the same structure (an eye, a heart, a limb). Consequently, members of the same species (including individual humans) can use variable genetic means to accomplish the same or similar ends. This rewiring effect is known to evolutionary biologists as developmental system drift.

Another even more serious difficulty in assigning definite functions to genes is that their protein products do not have fixed identities. For more than half a century molecular biology was dominated by what came to be called Anfinsens dogma, the doctrine that the polypeptide chains specified by a gene fold in unique fashions, and that the resulting proteins therefore perform similarly in all contexts. It is now recognized, however, that many proteins have one or more intrinsically disordered domains, and the context-dependent interactions among them constitute a protein-based system of inheritance that does not depend on changes in DNA. Intrinsic disorder is particularly prevalent among gene products that control the expression of other genes in complex, multicellular organisms, undermining standard ideas of how gene regulatory networks regulate embryonic development and organ physiology.

Thus, even the most precise alteration of a known gene with CRISPR is fraught with uncertainties. This may be worth the risk in an existing person with a disabling or mortal condition for which there is no other effective treatment. But it would never be so in an embryo, where the intention would be to improve a prospective individuals biological characteristics. Certainly a trait could be altered by gene editing, but not without the possibility of deranging other traits that may well have turned out normally in the unmodified embryo. Stated differently, engineering an organism, in analogy to engineering a mechanism or machine, is an inapplicable notion.

Commentators writing about reproductive biotechnologies with an ethical orientation often express valid concerns about the prospects of inequitable distribution or eugenic hazards of the anticipated benefits of gene manipulation improvements to health, intelligence, physical beauty but rarely question the ability of the purveyors to deliver on their promises. It can be seen from the foregoing that, as with anyone else trying to sell something, it makes sense to look behind the smoke and mirrors.

CRISPR Will Never Be Good Enough to Improve People | The … – Huffington Post

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