Feeds

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

All about the proteins

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?