Category: Genetics

Spontaneous gene glitches linked to autism risk with older dads

Researchers have turned up a new clue to the workings of a possible environmental factor in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs): fathers were four times more likely than mothers to transmit tiny, spontaneous mutations to their children with the disorders. Moreover, the number of such transmitted genetic glitches increased with paternal age. The discovery may help to explain earlier evidence linking autism risk to older fathers.

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Genetic Clues To PTSD?

New research released today in PLoS ONE could help to find new treatment options for people suffering from high anxiety disorders such as PTSD. Using mice, researchers at Rutgers have identified genetic clues which pinpoint why some are more resilient to traumatic experiences, while others are still fearful once removed from potentially dangerous situations.

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Gene Variant CYP2E1 Could Possibly Protect Against Alcoholism

Researchers have discovered a gene variant which is believed to possibly prevent against alcoholism. The gene variant, CYP2E1 appears to make people more sensitive to alcohol and can generate free radicals. Researchers consider a future application for drugs containing CYP2E1 for both making people more sensitive to alcohol prior to drinking, and to assist in the process of sobering up.

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Treating Depression With Gene Therapy

A new study suggests gene therapy might be key to treating major depression in patients who do not respond to conventional drug treatments. Researchers have discovered that the p11 gene seems to play a major role in depression. By disabling the p11 protein in mice, researchers noticed an increase in depression like symptoms. The proposed gene therapy would help restore the p11 protein within the nucleus accumbens, an area of the brain associated with feelings of reward and pleasure, in order to help reduce depression.

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