Feeds

Brain gene map: a route to Alzheimer's cure?

All about the proteins

A new approach to endpoint data protection

A new catalogue of genes, and the proteins they trigger in the brain, could help scientists develop new treatments for neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's. The database has been created by researchers at UCL and the University of Miami, who have spent years mapping the expression of genes in the brain.

Professor John Hardy, UCL Institute of Neurology, said the research has revealed a high degree of genetic control in terms of how much of a particular protein is made by genes in the brain.

He said: "We've taken nearly 200 samples of the human brain [from one section of the brain] and looked at how much of every gene in the genome is being made in a specific area in and around the frontal cortex. Then we looked at the expression pattern of the genes."

The research, led by Hardy and his US counterpart Dr Amanda Myers, could pave the way for totally new approaches to treating brain disease because it can shed light on exactly how it is a gene may predispose a person to a particular illness.

"It is not just the presence of a particular gene but the amount of protein they produce which is going to have real significance in understanding and treating neurological disease," Professor Hardy added. His team has already linked a protein called MAPT with the neurological disease Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, he said.

"In principle, though we are not there yet, this will allow researchers to take a blood sample from anyone and, from looking at their DNA sequence, know how much of every protein they make in their brain and what they might be more pre-disposed to in terms of neurological disease," he concluded.

The database has been made public, and the research is published in the current edition of Nature Genetics. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?