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Sample records for human genetics research

  1. Mixture distributions in human genetics research.

    PubMed

    Schork, N J; Allison, D B; Thiel, B

    1996-06-01

    The use of mixture distributions in genetics research dates back to at least the late 1800s when Karl Pearson applied them in an analysis of crab morphometry. Pearson's use of normal mixture distributions to model the mixing of different species of crab (or 'families' of crab as he referred to them) within a defined geographic area motivated further use of mixture distributions in genetics research settings, and ultimately led to their development and recognition as intuitive modelling devices for the effects of underlying genes on quantitative phenotypic (i.e. trait) expression. In addition, mixture distributions are now used routinely to model or accommodate the genetic heterogeneity thought to underlie many human diseases. Specific applications of mixture distribution models in contemporary human genetics research are, in fact, too numerous to count. Despite this long, consistent and arguably illustrious history of use, little mention of mixture distributions in genetics research is made in many recent reviews on mixture models. This review attempts to rectify this by providing insight into the role that mixture distributions play in contemporary human genetics research. Tables providing examples from the literature that describe applications of mixture models in human genetics research are offered as a way of acquainting the interested reader with relevant studies. In addition, some of the more problematic aspects of the use of mixture models in genetics research are outlined and addressed. PMID:8817796

  2. Caries: Review of Human Genetics Research

    PubMed Central

    Vieira, Alexandre R.; Modesto, Adriana; Marazita, Mary L.

    2014-01-01

    The NIH Consensus Development Program released a statement in 2001 (NIH Consensus Statement, 2001) and listed six major clinical caries research directions. One of these directions was the need for genetic studies to identify genes and genetic markers of diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic value. This last decade has seen a steep increase in studies investigating the presence of genetic factors influencing individual susceptibility to caries. This review revisits recent caries human genetic studies and provides a perspective for future studies in order to fulfill their promise of revolutionizing our understanding of and the standard of care for the most prevalent bacteria-mediated non-contagious disease in the world. PMID:24853115

  3. Research strategies in human behaviour genetics.

    PubMed Central

    Vogel, F

    1987-01-01

    Genetic variation influencing normal and abnormal human behaviour has been studied since Francis Galton's work in the second half of the 19th century. However, most of these studies have consisted of biometric analysis of complex phenotypes; the genotype has been treated as a 'black box'. The concepts and analytical tools of modern genetics have rarely been used. In this lecture, some examples are given of approaches combining tools from genetics, cytogenetics, and various fields of neurobiology which might help in the analysis of genetic mechanisms leading, in interaction with the environment, to individual differences in behaviour, mental performance, and susceptibility to mental diseases. PMID:2883319

  4. Genetic Testing and Its Implications: Human Genetics Researchers Grapple with Ethical Issues.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rabino, Isaac

    2003-01-01

    Contributes systematic data on the attitudes of scientific experts who engage in human genetics research about the pros, cons, and ethical implications of genetic testing. Finds that they are highly supportive of voluntary testing and the right to know one's genetic heritage. Calls for greater genetic literacy. (Contains 87 references.) (Author/NB)

  5. Different differences: The use of ‘genetic ancestry’ versus race in biomedical human genetic research

    PubMed Central

    Fujimura, Joan H.; Rajagopalan, Ramya

    2011-01-01

    This article presents findings from our ethnographic research on biomedical scientists’ studies of human genetic variation and common complex disease. We examine the socio-material work involved in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and discuss whether, how, and when notions of race and ethnicity are or are not used. We analyze how researchers produce simultaneously different kinds of populations and population differences. Although many geneticists use race in their analyses, we find some who have invented a statistical genetics method and associated software that they use specifically to avoid using categories of race in their genetics analysis. Their method allows them to operationalize their concept of ‘genetic ancestry’ without resorting to notions of race and ethnicity. We focus on the construction and implementation of the software’s algorithms, and discuss the consequences and implications of the software technology for debates and policies around the use of race in genetics research. We also demonstrate that the production and use of their method involves a dynamic and fluid assemblage of actors in various disciplines responding to disciplinary and sociopolitical contexts and concerns. This assemblage also includes particular discourses on human history and geography as they become entangled with research on genetic markers and disease. We introduce the concept of ‘genome geography’, to analyze how some researchers studying human genetic variation ‘locate’ stretches of DNA in different places and times. The concept of genetic ancestry and the practice of genome geography rely on old discourses, but they also incorporate new technologies, infrastructures, and political and scientific commitments. Some of these new technologies provide opportunities to change some of our institutional and cultural forms and frames around notions of difference and similarity. Neverthless, we also highlight the slipperiness of genome geography and the

  6. Robotics for recombinant DNA and human genetics research

    SciTech Connect

    Beugelsdijk, T.J.

    1990-01-01

    In October of 1989, molecular biologists throughout the world formally embarked on ultimately determining the set of genetic instructions for a human being. Called by some the Manhattan Project'' a molecular biology, pursuit of this goal is projected to require approximately 3000 man years of effort over a 15-year period. The Humane Genome Initiative is a worldwide research effort that has the goal of analyzing the structure of human deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and determining the location of all human genes. The Department of Energy (DOE) has designated three of its national laboratories as centers for the Human Genome Project. These are Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL). These laboratories are currently working on different, but complementary technology development areas in support of the Human Genome Project. The robotics group at LANL is currently working at developing the technologies that address the problems associated with physical mapping. This article describes some of these problems and discusses some of the robotics approaches and engineering tolls applicable to their solution. 7 refs., 8 figs., 1 tab.

  7. Human molecular genetics research at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Falaschi, P A

    1997-01-01

    The ICGEB started its activity in 1987 as a special project of UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) and operates now as a fully autonomous International Organization, of which 40 countries are members at present. The mandate of ICGEB is to become a Centre of excellence for research and training in modern biology addressed to the needs of the developing world. The ICGEB consists of two main laboratories, one in Trieste (where the direction of the Centre is also located) and one in New Delhi, plus a network of 30 Affiliated Centres. The Centre operates through: 1) specific research programs of hish scientific content at the Trieste and New Delhi laboratories; 2) long term training through post-doctoral and pre-doctoral fellowships; 3) short term training; 4) collaborative research program, through which the Centre finances research projects of major impact to the need of the Member States; 5) scientific services, namely consultation for scientific programs, distribution of reagents and a bioinformatics network particularly geared to the human genome research. The research on human molecular genetics in particularly active in the Trieste Component and concerns the study at the molecular level of several genes important for human health: control of DNA replication, response to infectious diseases, cardiocirculatory diseases, cystic fibrosis and cancer. The methodologies for developing new diagnostic methods and for developing gene therapy protocols are actively pursued. Through these programs, the member countries have access to state-of-the-art technologies anf know-how essential for the development of the molecular approaches to medicine brought forward by the study of the human genome. PMID:9561632

  8. Research on human genetics in Iceland. Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    1980-10-31

    Records of the Icelandic Population are being used to investigate the possible inheritance of disabilities and diseases as well as other characters and the effect of environment on man. The progress report of research covers the period 1977 to 1980. The investigation was begun in 1965 by the Genetical Committee of the University of Iceland and the materials used are demographic records from the year 1840 to present and various medical information. The records are being computerized and linked together to make them effective for use in hereditary studies.

  9. Progress report on research on human genetics in Iceland

    SciTech Connect

    1980-10-31

    Records of the Icelandic population are being used to investigate the possible inheritance of disabilities and diseases as well as other characteristics and the effect of environment on man. The progress report of research covers the period from 1977 to 1980. The investigation was begun in 1965 by the Genetical Committee of the University of Iceland and the materials used are demographic records from the year 1840 to present and various medical information. The records are being computerized and linked together to make them effective for use in hereditary studies.

  10. Human genetics

    SciTech Connect

    Carlson, E.A.

    1984-01-01

    This text provides full and balanced coverage of the concepts requisite for a thorough understanding of human genetics. Applications to both the individual and society are integrated throughout the lively and personal narrative, and the essential principles of heredity are clearly presented to prepare students for informed participation in public controversies. High-interest, controversial topics, including recombinant DNA technology, oncogenes, embryo transfer, environmental mutagens and carcinogens, IQ testing, and eugenics encourage understanding of important social issues.

  11. The New Human Genetics: A Cell Bank Helps Researchers Fight Inherited Disease.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pines, Maya

    Research in human genetics is now expanding rapidly, leading to increasingly precise ways of preventing or treating some of the 2,000 or more inherited disorders that afflict human beings. At the same time, it has produced a wealth of new ideas and techniques which are laying the groundwork for new medical science for the 21st century. Recent work…

  12. Attitudes toward Genetic Research Review: Results from a National Survey of Professionals involved in Human Subjects Protection

    PubMed Central

    Lemke, Amy A.; Trinidad, Susan B.; Edwards, Karen L.; Starks, Helene; Wiesner, Georgia L.

    2010-01-01

    The recent expansion of human genetics research has raised complex ethical and regulatory issues. However, few published reports describe the views of professionals involved in human subjects protection (HSP) regarding the risks and benefits of genetic research. This anonymous, web-based study elicited the opinions of 208 HSP professionals about review of genetic research. The majority of respondents felt that different guidance is needed for various aspects of genetic protocol review compared with other types of human subjects research. Importantly, opinions were divided on specific genetic research issues such as what constitutes human subjects research, when to re-consent, and the likelihood and risks of research participant identification. Findings from this study illustrate the need for a collaborative approach to ethics oversight in the conduct and review of genetic research. PMID:20235866

  13. American Society of Human Genetics

    MedlinePlus

    ... Research Awards August 9, 2016 Media Advisory: American Society of Human Genetics 2016 Annual Meeting July 26, ... McKusick Leadership Award June 30, 2016 The American Society of Human Genetics, Incorporated 9650 Rockville Pike • Bethesda, ...

  14. Building capacity for human genetics and genomics research in Trinidad and Tobago.

    PubMed

    Roach, Allana; Warner, Wayne A; Llanos, Adana A M

    2015-11-01

    Advances in human genetics and genomic sciences and the corresponding explosion of biomedical technologies have deepened current understanding of human health and revolutionized medicine. In developed nations, this has led to marked improvements in disease risk stratification and diagnosis. These advances have also led to targeted intervention strategies aimed at promoting disease prevention, prolonging disease onset, and mitigating symptoms, as in the well-known case of breast cancer and the BRCA1 gene. In contrast, in the developing nation of Trinidad and Tobago, this scientific revolution has not translated into the development and application of effective genomics-based interventions for improving public health. While the reasons for this are multifactorial, the underlying basis may be rooted in the lack of pertinence of internationally driven genomics research to the local public health needs in the country, as well as a lack of relevance of internationally conducted genetics research to the genetic and environmental contexts of the population. Indeed, if Trinidad and Tobago is able to harness substantial public health benefit from genetics/genomics research, then there is a dire need, in the near future, to build local capacity for the conduct and translation of such research. Specifically, it is essential to establish a national human genetics/genomics research agenda in order to build sustainable human capacity through education and knowledge transfer and to generate public policies that will provide the basis for the creation of a mutually beneficial framework (including partnerships with more developed nations) that is informed by public health needs and contextual realities of the nation. PMID:26837529

  15. The role of community review in evaluating the risks of human genetic variation research.

    PubMed

    Foster, M W; Sharp, R R; Freeman, W L; Chino, M; Bernsten, D; Carter, T H

    1999-06-01

    The practicality and moral value of community review of human genetic research has become a focus of debate. Examples from two Native American communities are used to address four aspects of that debate: (1) the value of community review in larger, geographically dispersed populations; (2) the identification of culturally specific risks; (3) the potential conflict between individual and group assessments of research-related risks; and (4) the confusion of social categories with biological categories. Our experiences working with these two communities suggest that: (1) successful community review may require the involvement of private social units (e.g., families); (2) culturally specific implications of genetic research may be identifiable only by community members and are of valid concern in their moral universes; (3) community concerns can be incorporated into existing review mechanisms without necessarily giving communities the power to veto research proposals; and (4) the conflation of social and biological categories presents recruitment problems for genetic studies. These conclusions argue for the use of community review to identify and minimize research-related risks posed by genetic studies. Community review also can assist in facilitating participant recruitment and retention, as well as in developing partnerships between researchers and communities. PMID:10330360

  16. The New Human Genetics. How Gene Splicing Helps Researchers Fight Inherited Disease.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pines, Maya

    The science of genetics is perceived to offer hope that a large number of the 3,000 inherited diseases which afflict human beings may be prevented or controlled. This document addresses some of the advances that have been made in this field. It includes an introduction and sections on: "The Beginning of Human Genetics"; "Unlocking the Secrets of…

  17. Scientific rationality, uncertainty and the governance of human genetics: an interview study with researchers at deCODE genetics.

    PubMed

    Hjörleifsson, Stefán; Schei, Edvin

    2006-07-01

    Technology development in human genetics is fraught with uncertainty, controversy and unresolved moral issues, and industry scientists are sometimes accused of neglecting the implications of their work. The present study was carried out to elicit industry scientists' reflections on the relationship between commercial, scientific and ethical dimensions of present day genetics and the resources needed for robust governance of new technologies. Interviewing scientists of the company deCODE genetics in Iceland, we found that in spite of optimism, the informants revealed ambiguity and uncertainty concerning the use of human genetic technologies for the prevention of common diseases. They concurred that uncritical marketing of scientific success might cause exaggerated public expectations of health benefits from genetics, with the risk of backfiring and causing resistance to genetics in the population. On the other hand, the scientists did not address dilemmas arising from the commercial nature of their own employer. Although the scientists tended to describe public fear as irrational, they identified issues where scepticism might be well founded and explored examples where they, despite expert knowledge, held ambiguous or tentative personal views on the use of predictive genetic technologies. The rationality of science was not seen as sufficient to ensure beneficial governance of new technologies. The reflexivity and suspension of judgement demonstrated in the interviews exemplify productive features of moral deliberation in complex situations. Scientists should take part in dialogues concerning the governance of genetic technologies, acknowledge any vested interests, and use their expertise to highlight, not conceal the technical and moral complexity involved. PMID:16622446

  18. I'll be a monkey's uncle: a moral challenge to human genetic enhancement research.

    PubMed

    Rosoff, Philip M

    2011-10-01

    The potential for genetic engineering of enhancements to complex human traits has been the subject of vigorous debate for a number of years. Most of the discussion has centered on the possible moral consequences of pursuing enhancements, especially those that might affect complex behaviours and components of personality. Little has been written on the actual process of implementing this technology. This paper presents a 'thought experiment' about the likely form of final preclinical testing for a technology to enhance intelligence as a prototypical multiplex trait. The significance and the potential dangers of implementing enhancements in humans, especially to highly valued traits such as intelligence, would mandate a thorough programme of testing in animals, including non-human primates such as chimpanzees. The implications this would have for researchers, society and, most importantly, the animals themselves are discussed, and the paper concludes with a suggestion for a morally justifiable approach to resolve the tragic question of what to do with research animals who have a cognitive capacity that is close to that of humans. PMID:21515875

  19. Latest Research: Genetic Links

    MedlinePlus

    ... Current Issue Past Issues Feature: Vision Latest Research: Genetic Links Past Issues / Summer 2008 Table of Contents ... laboratories is one way the NEI is expanding genetic testing of eye diseases. Photo courtesy of National ...

  20. Human genetic research, race, ethnicity and the labeling of populations: recommendations based on an interdisciplinary workshop in Japan

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background A challenge in human genome research is how to describe the populations being studied. The use of improper and/or imprecise terms has the potential to both generate and reinforce prejudices and to diminish the clinical value of the research. The issue of population descriptors has not attracted enough academic attention outside North America and Europe. In January 2012, we held a two-day workshop, the first of its kind in Japan, to engage in interdisciplinary dialogue between scholars in the humanities, social sciences, medical sciences, and genetics to begin an ongoing discussion of the social and ethical issues associated with population descriptors. Discussion Through the interdisciplinary dialogue, we confirmed that the issue of race, ethnicity and genetic research has not been extensively discussed in certain Asian communities and other regions. We have found, for example, the continued use of the problematic term, “Mongoloid” or continental terms such as “European,” “African,” and “Asian,” as population descriptors in genetic studies. We, therefore, introduce guidelines for reporting human genetic studies aimed at scientists and researchers in these regions. Conclusion We need to anticipate the various potential social and ethical problems entailed in population descriptors. Scientists have a social responsibility to convey their research findings outside of their communities as accurately as possible, and to consider how the public may perceive and respond to the descriptors that appear in research papers and media articles. PMID:24758583

  1. [Human genetics and ethics].

    PubMed

    Zergollern, L

    1990-01-01

    Many new problems and dilemmas have occurred in the practice of medical geneticists with the development of human genetics and its subdisciplines--molecular genetics, ethic genetics and juridical genetics. Devoid of the possibility to get adequate education, genetic informer or better to say, counsellor, although a scientist and a professional who has already formed his ethic attitudes, often finds himself in a dilemma when he has to decide whether a procedure made possible by progress of science is ethical or not. Thus, due to different attitudes, same decision is ethical for some, while for the others it is not. Ethic committees are groups of moral and good people trying to find an objective approach to certain genetic and ethic problems. There are more and more ethically unanswered questions in modern human genetics, and particularly in medical genetics. Medical geneticist-ethicist still encounters numerous problems in his work. These are, for example, experiments with human gametes and embryos, possibilities of hybridization of human gametes with animal gametes, in vitro fertilization, detection of heterozygotes and homozygotes for monogene diseases. early detection of chromosomopathies, substitute mothers, homo and hetero insemination, transplantation of fetal and cadeveric organs, uncontrolled consumption of alcohol and drugs, environmental pollution, etc. It is almost impossible to create a single attitude which shall be shared by all those engaged in human health protection. Therefore, it is best to have a neutral eugenetic attitude which allows free ethical choice of each individual, in any case, for the well-being of man. PMID:2366624

  2. Progress and Prospects in Human Genetic Research into Age-Related Hearing Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Sugiura, Saiko; Ueda, Hiromi; Nakashima, Tsutomu

    2014-01-01

    Age-related hearing impairment (ARHI) is a complex, multifactorial disorder that is attributable to confounding intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The degree of impairment shows substantial variation between individuals, as is also observed in the senescence of other functions. This individual variation would seem to refute the stereotypical view that hearing deterioration with age is inevitable and may indicate that there is ample scope for preventive intervention. Genetic predisposition could account for a sizable proportion of interindividual variation. Over the past decade or so, tremendous progress has been made through research into the genetics of various forms of hearing impairment, including ARHI and our knowledge of the complex mechanisms of auditory function has increased substantially. Here, we give an overview of recent investigations aimed at identifying the genetic risk factors involved in ARHI and of what we currently know about its pathophysiology. This review is divided into the following sections: (i) genes causing monogenic hearing impairment with phenotypic similarities to ARHI; (ii) genes involved in oxidative stress, biologic stress responses, and mitochondrial dysfunction; and (iii) candidate genes for senescence, other geriatric diseases, and neurodegeneration. Progress and prospects in genetic research are discussed. PMID:25140308

  3. Genetic studies in alcohol research

    SciTech Connect

    Karp, R.W.

    1994-12-15

    The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) supports research to elucidate the specific genetic factors, now largely unknown, which underlie susceptibility to alcoholism and its medical complications (including fetal alcohol syndrome). Because of the genetic complexity and heterogeneity of alcoholism, identification of the multiple underlying factors will require the development of new study designs and methods of analysis of data from human families. While techniques of genetic analysis of animal behavioral traits (e.g., targeted gene disruption, quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping) are more powerful that those applicable to humans (e.g., linkage and allelic association studies), the validation of animal behaviors as models of aspects of human alcoholism has been problematic. Newly developed methods for mapping QTL influencing animal behavioral traits can not only permit analyses of human family data to be directly informed by the results of animal studies, but can also serve as a novel means of validating animal models of aspects of alcoholism. 55 refs.

  4. Genetic Research and Native American Cultural Issues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romero, Francine; Bemis, Lynne T.; Burhansstipanov, Linda; Dignan, Mark

    Cultural issues relevant to genetic education and research arc the focus of a new and innovative curriculum being developed for Native American college students and health professionals. Genetic Education for Native Americans (GENA) is funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The goal of the GENA project is to provide a balance of scientific and cultural information about genetic research, genetic testing, and careers in genetics for Native American students. This article describes issues related to the implementation of GENA and provides an example of an innovative approach to teaching about genetic research among Native American populations.

  5. High Points of Human Genetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stern, Curt

    1975-01-01

    Discusses such high points of human genetics as the study of chromosomes, somatic cell hybrids, the population formula: the Hardy-Weinberg Law, biochemical genetics, the single-active X Theory, behavioral genetics and finally how genetics can serve humanity. (BR)

  6. Genetics for the Human Race

    SciTech Connect

    Myles Axton; Francis Collins; Charles Rotimi; Charmaine Royal; David Goldstein, Daniel Drell; Georgia Dunston; Rick Kittles; Lynn Jorde; Mildred Cho; Joanna Mountain; Ari Patrinos; Neil Risch; Shomarka Keita; Kenneth Kidd; Mark Shriver; Sarah Tishkoff

    2004-11-01

    This supplement has its origins on May 15, 2003, when the National Human Genome Center at Howard University held a small but important workshop in Washington DC. The workshop, Human Genome Variation and 'Race', and this special issue of Nature Genetics were proposed by scientists at Howard University and financially supported by the Genome Programs of the US Department of Energy, through its Office of Science; the Irving Harris Foundation; the National Institutes of Health, through the National Human Genome Research Institute; and Howard University. As summarized by Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, the workshop focused on several key questions: ''What does the current body of scientific information say about the connections among race, ethnicity, genetics and health? What remains unknown? What additional research is needed? How can this information be applied to benefit human health? How might this information be applied in nonmedical settings? How can we adopt policies that will achieve beneficial societal outcomes?'' This supplement, supported by the Department of Energy through a grant to Howard University, contains articles based on the presentations at this workshop.

  7. Advances in human genetics

    SciTech Connect

    Harris, H.; Hirschhorn, K.

    1993-01-01

    This book has five chapters covering peroxisomal diseases, X-linked immunodeficiencies, genetic mutations affecting human lipoproteins and their receptors and enzymes, genetic aspects of cancer, and Gaucher disease. The chapter on peroxisomes covers their discovery, structure, functions, disorders, etc. The chapter on X-linked immunodeficiencies discusses such diseases as agammaglobulinemia, severe combined immunodeficiency, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, animal models, linkage analysis, etc. Apolipoprotein formation, synthesis, gene regulation, proteins, etc. are the main focus of chapter 3. The chapter on cancer covers such topics as oncogene mapping and the molecular characterization of some recessive oncogenes. Gaucher disease is covered from its diagnosis, classification, and prevention, to its organ system involvement and molecular biology.

  8. Genetics of Human and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Siobhan; Edwards, Jennifer; Ferguson-Mignan, Thomas F. N.; Cobb, Malcolm; Mongan, Nigel P.; Rutland, Catrin S.

    2015-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in both humans and dogs. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) accounts for a large number of these cases, reported to be the third most common form of cardiac disease in humans and the second most common in dogs. In human studies of DCM there are more than 50 genetic loci associated with the disease. Despite canine DCM having similar disease progression to human DCM studies into the genetic basis of canine DCM lag far behind those of human DCM. In this review the aetiology, epidemiology, and clinical characteristics of canine DCM are examined, along with highlighting possible different subtypes of canine DCM and their potential relevance to human DCM. Finally the current position of genetic research into canine and human DCM, including the genetic loci, is identified and the reasons many studies may have failed to find a genetic association with canine DCM are reviewed. PMID:26266250

  9. [Bioethical principles concerning human genetic data].

    PubMed

    Cruz-Coke, Ricardo

    2003-01-01

    UNESCO'S Universal declaration on the human genome and human rights (1997) has been accepted by the international scientific community. To apply these laws, it is necessary to get more specific rules about data regulation, human genetic samples and its derived information in biomedic research. Indeed, genetic material recollection, processing, use and storing, has potential risks over human rights' protection and exercise. The author, member of UNESCO'S intergovernmental Bioethics Committee which approved the final draft in June 2003, has taken part in the writing of the final text of an international declaration about human genetic data, whose abbreviate text is described and commented in this communication. PMID:15032097

  10. Human Heredity: Genetic Mechanisms in Humans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blank, C. E.

    1988-01-01

    Discussed are some of the uncertainties in human genetic mechanisms that are often presented as dogma in Biology textbooks. Presented is a brief historical background and illustrations involving chromosome abnormality in humans and linkage studies in humans. (CW)

  11. Thoughts on Human Genetics Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Epstein, Charles J.

    1980-01-01

    The director of the Birth Defects Center at the University of California at San Francisco addresses the reasons for developing good ways of teaching human genetics. Genetic counseling is discussed within the context of several case histories. (SA)

  12. James L. German, a pioneer in early human genetic research turned 90.

    PubMed

    Passarge, Eberhard

    2016-06-01

    In the early 1960s, J. German established the non-synchronous human DNA replication pattern in metaphases of cultured lymphocytes and fibroblasts. This could be used to distinguish several chromosomes of similar morphology. From 1965 on over the next 30 years, he and his coworkers systematically studied Bloom's syndrome in depth, cumulating in the identification in 1995 of the BLM gene as encoding a DNA helicase. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27016306

  13. Genetic Mapping in Human Disease

    PubMed Central

    Altshuler, David; Daly, Mark J.; Lander, Eric S.

    2009-01-01

    Genetic mapping provides a powerful approach to identify genes and biological processes underlying any trait influenced by inheritance, including human diseases. We discuss the intellectual foundations of genetic mapping of Mendelian and complex traits in humans, examine lessons emerging from linkage analysis of Mendelian diseases and genome-wide association studies of common diseases, and discuss questions and challenges that lie ahead. PMID:18988837

  14. Genetic research in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delone, N. L.; Antipov, V. V.; Ilyin, Ye. A.

    1988-01-01

    The role of the genetic apparatus in the adaptation of the organism to conditions of weightlessness is studied. The investigation includes studies at the gene, chromosome, cell, tissue, and organism levels, as well as studies at the population level.

  15. Genetic Research on Biospecimens Poses Minimal Risk

    PubMed Central

    Wendler, David S.; Rid, Annette

    2014-01-01

    Genetic research on human biospecimens is increasingly common. Yet, debate continues over the level of risk that this research poses to sample donors. Some argue that genetic research on biospecimens poses minimal risk; others argue that it poses greater than minimal risk and therefore needs additional requirements and limitations. This debate raises concern that some donors are not receiving appropriate protection or, conversely, that valuable research is being subject to unnecessary requirements and limitations. The present paper attempts to address this concern using the widely-endorsed ‘risks of daily life’ standard. The three extant versions of this standard all suggest that, with proper measures in place to protect donor confidentiality, most genetic research on human biospecimens poses minimal risk to donors. PMID:25530152

  16. Genetic research on biospecimens poses minimal risk.

    PubMed

    Wendler, David S; Rid, Annette

    2015-01-01

    Genetic research on human biospecimens is increasingly common. However, debate continues over the level of risk that this research poses to sample donors. Some argue that genetic research on biospecimens poses minimal risk; others argue that it poses greater than minimal risk and therefore needs additional requirements and limitations. This debate raises concern that some donors are not receiving appropriate protection or, conversely, that valuable research is being subject to unnecessary requirements and limitations. The present paper attempts to resolve this debate using the widely-endorsed 'risks of daily life' standard. The three extant versions of this standard all suggest that, with proper measures in place to protect confidentiality, most genetic research on human biospecimens poses minimal risk to donors. PMID:25530152

  17. Basic Genetics: A Human Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Colorado Springs, CO. Center for Education in Human and Medical Genetics.

    This document (which has the form of a magazine) provides a variety of articles, stories, editorials, letters, interviews, and other types of magazine features (such as book reviews) which focus on human genetics. In addition to providing information about the principles of genetics, nearly all of the sections in the "magazine" address moral,…

  18. Blending Genetics and Sociocultural Historical Inquiry: Ethics, Culture, and Human Subjects Protection in International Cross Cultural Research

    PubMed Central

    Sampson, Deborah A.; Caldwell, Dennis; Taylor, Andre D.; Taylor, Jacquelyn Y.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we examine the implementation and difficulties when conducting genetics research in a rural, traditional West African culture within the frame of the United States’ grounded research ethics. Research challenges are highlighted by Western researchers following U.S. Institutional Review Board (IRB) guidelines and practices in a non-Western country. IRB concepts are culture bound in Western ideals that may not have synchronicity and compatibility with non-Western cultures. Differences in sociocultural norms, traditions, language, and geography were influencing factors that can affect application of IRB principles. Suggestions for change are offered, which will potentially aid researchers considering application of IRB requirements when conducting research in non-Westernized, non-industrialized countries. PMID:23482512

  19. Human genetic databases and liberty.

    PubMed

    Adalsteinsson, Ragnar

    2004-01-01

    This paper examines an act of the Icelandic Parliament on health-sector databases. Both the legislation itself and the manner in which it was presented by the Government to the Parliament and the general public raise various questions about democratic parliamentary procedures, community consultation, autonomy, privacy, professional confidence, control of health data in hospitals and business relationships between medical doctors and biotechnology corporations. A major question to be asked is: In whose interest is it that such sensitive data are handed over to for-profit corporations? Furthermore, is it within the authority of the legislature to authorize politically appointed boards of health institutes to transfer such data without the direct informed consent of the patient and without the relevant physicians' having a say? Does experience teach us to entrust private companies with sensitive personal data? Should the Government be involved in the research policy-making of the biotechnology companies that have been given access to the genetic data of a population, or should the profit motive be the sole deciding influence? That is, should the interest of the shareholders of the companies prevail over the interest of underprivileged groups who are most in need of new methods or medicine to alleviate their situation due to incurable diseases? Or is the invisible hand of the market the only competent decision-maker? Finally, will the proliferation of databases containing sensitive personal data, such as human genetic data, limit our personal liberty? PMID:16755701

  20. Contemporary Genetics for Gender Researchers: Not Your Grandma's Genetics Anymore

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salk, Rachel H.; Hyde, Janet S.

    2012-01-01

    Over the past century, much of genetics was deterministic, and feminist researchers framed justified criticisms of genetics research. However, over the past two decades, genetics research has evolved remarkably and has moved far from earlier deterministic approaches. Our article provides a brief primer on modern genetics, emphasizing contemporary…

  1. Genetic aspects of human congenital diaphragmatic hernia

    PubMed Central

    Pober, BR

    2010-01-01

    Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a common major malformation affecting 1/3000–1/4000 births, which continues to be associated with significant perinatal mortality. Much current research is focused on elucidating the genetics and pathophysiology contributing to CDH to develop more effective therapies. The latest data suggest that many cases of CDH are genetically determined and also indicate that CDH is etiologically heterogeneous. The present review will provide a brief summary of diaphragm development and model organism work most relevant to human CDH and will primarily describe important human phenotypes associated with CDH and also provide recommendations for diagnostic evaluation of a fetus or infant with CDH. PMID:18510546

  2. Human genetic variability and HIV treatment response.

    PubMed

    Haas, David W

    2006-07-01

    Access to potent antiretroviral medications greatly reduces morbidity and mortality due to HIV/AIDS, but drug toxicity limits treatment success in many individuals. The field of pharmacogenomics strives to understand the influence of human genetic variants in response to medications. Investigators have begun to identify associations among human genetic variants, predisposition to HIV drug toxicities, and likelihood of virologic response. These include associations among abacavir hypersensitivity reactions, HLA type, and hsp70-hom genotypes, and among CYP2B6 polymorphisms, efavirenz pharmacokinetics, and central nervous system symptoms. Pharmacogenomics also holds great promise to suggest novel targets for drug development. The discovery that a naturally occurring, nonfunctional variant of the HIV receptor gene CCR5 protected against HIV infection encouraged the development of CCR5 antagonists. Through continued translational and applied research, pharmacogenomics will ultimately benefit persons living with HIV worldwide by identifying new therapeutic targets and through individualized drug prescribing that is informed by human genetic testing. PMID:16608660

  3. HGDBMS: a human genetics database management system.

    PubMed

    Seuchter, S A; Skolnick, M H

    1988-10-01

    Human genetics research involves a large number of complex data sets naturally organized in hierarchical structures. Data collection is performed on different levels, e.g., the project level, pedigree level, individual level, and sample level. Different aspects of a study utilize different views of the data, requiring a flexible database management system (DBMS) which satisfies these different needs for data collection and retrieval. We describe HGDBMS, a comprehensive relational DBMS, implemented as an application of the GENISYS I DBMS, which allows embedding the hierarchical structure of pedigrees in a relational structure. The system's file structure is described in detail. Currently our Melanoma and Chromosome 17 map studies are managed with HGDBMS. Our initial experience demonstrates the value of a flexible system which supports the needs for data entry, update, storage, reporting, and analysis required during different phases of genetic research. Further developments will focus on the integration of HGDBMS with a human genetics expert system shell and analysis programs. PMID:3180747

  4. The old and new face of craniofacial research: How animal models inform human craniofacial genetic and clinical data.

    PubMed

    Van Otterloo, Eric; Williams, Trevor; Artinger, Kristin Bruk

    2016-07-15

    The craniofacial skeletal structures that comprise the human head develop from multiple tissues that converge to form the bones and cartilage of the face. Because of their complex development and morphogenesis, many human birth defects arise due to disruptions in these cellular populations. Thus, determining how these structures normally develop is vital if we are to gain a deeper understanding of craniofacial birth defects and devise treatment and prevention options. In this review, we will focus on how animal model systems have been used historically and in an ongoing context to enhance our understanding of human craniofacial development. We do this by first highlighting "animal to man" approaches; that is, how animal models are being utilized to understand fundamental mechanisms of craniofacial development. We discuss emerging technologies, including high throughput sequencing and genome editing, and new animal repository resources, and how their application can revolutionize the future of animal models in craniofacial research. Secondly, we highlight "man to animal" approaches, including the current use of animal models to test the function of candidate human disease variants. Specifically, we outline a common workflow deployed after discovery of a potentially disease causing variant based on a select set of recent examples in which human mutations are investigated in vivo using animal models. Collectively, these topics will provide a pipeline for the use of animal models in understanding human craniofacial development and disease for clinical geneticist and basic researchers alike. PMID:26808208

  5. Current issues in medically assisted reproduction and genetics in Europe: research, clinical practice, ethics, legal issues and policy. European Society of Human Genetics and European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

    PubMed

    Harper, Joyce C; Geraedts, Joep; Borry, Pascal; Cornel, Martina C; Dondorp, Wybo; Gianaroli, Luca; Harton, Gary; Milachich, Tanya; Kääriäinen, Helena; Liebaers, Inge; Morris, Michael; Sequeiros, Jorge; Sermon, Karen; Shenfield, Françoise; Skirton, Heather; Soini, Sirpa; Spits, Claudia; Veiga, Anna; Vermeesch, Joris Robert; Viville, Stéphane; de Wert, Guido; Macek, Milan

    2013-11-01

    In March 2005, a group of experts from the European Society of Human Genetics and European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology met to discuss the interface between genetics and assisted reproductive technology (ART), and published an extended background paper, recommendations and two Editorials. Seven years later, in March 2012, a follow-up interdisciplinary workshop was held, involving representatives of both professional societies, including experts from the European Union Eurogentest2 Coordination Action Project. The main goal of this meeting was to discuss developments at the interface between clinical genetics and ARTs. As more genetic causes of reproductive failure are now recognised and an increasing number of patients undergo testing of their genome before conception, either in regular health care or in the context of direct-to-consumer testing, the need for genetic counselling and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) may increase. Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) thus far does not have evidence from randomised clinical trials to substantiate that the technique is both effective and efficient. Whole-genome sequencing may create greater challenges both in the technological and interpretational domains, and requires further reflection about the ethics of genetic testing in ART and PGD/PGS. Diagnostic laboratories should be reporting their results according to internationally accepted accreditation standards (International Standards Organisation - ISO 15189). Further studies are needed in order to address issues related to the impact of ART on epigenetic reprogramming of the early embryo. The legal landscape regarding assisted reproduction is evolving but still remains very heterogeneous and often contradictory. The lack of legal harmonisation and uneven access to infertility treatment and PGD/PGS fosters considerable cross-border reproductive care in Europe and beyond. The aim of this paper is to complement previous publications and provide

  6. Genetic variation and human longevity.

    PubMed

    Soerensen, Mette

    2012-05-01

    The overall aim of the PhD project was to elucidate the association of human longevity with genetic variation in major candidate genes and pathways of longevity. Based on a thorough literature and database search we chose to apply a pathway approach; to explore variation in genes composing the DNA damage signaling, DNA repair, GH/IGF-1/insulin signaling and pro-/antioxidant pathways. In addition, 16 genes which did not belong to the core of either pathway, however recurrently regarded as candidate genes of longevity (e.g. APOE), were included. In this way a total of 168 genes were selected for investigation. We decided to explore the genetic variation in the form of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), a highly investigated type of genetic variation. SNPs having potential functional impact (e.g. affecting binding of transcription factors) were identified, so were specific SNPs in the candidate genes previously published to be associated with human longevity. To cover the majority of the common genetic variation in the 168 gene regions (encoding regions plus 5,000 bp upstream and 1,000 downstream) we applied the tagging SNP approach via the HapMap Consortium. Consequently 1,536 SNPs were selected. The majority of the previous publications on genetic variation and human longevity had employed a case-control study design, e.g. comparing centenarians to middle-aged controls. This type of study design is somehow prone to bias introduced by for instance cohort effects, i.e. differences in characteristics of cases and controls, a kind of bias which is avoided when a prospective cohort is under study. Therefore, we chose to investigate 1,200 individuals of the Danish 1905 birth cohort, which have been followed since 1998 when the members were 92-93 years old. The genetic contribution to human longevity has been estimated to be most profound during the late part of life, thus these oldest-old individuals are excellent for investigating such effect. The follow-up survival

  7. [Ethical challenges of genetic manipulation and research with animals].

    PubMed

    Rodríguez Yunta, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    Research with animals presents ethical questions both for being used as models of human diseases and for being a prerequisite for trials in humans, as in the introduction of genetic modifications. Some of these questions refer to the fact that, as models, they do not fully represent the human condition; that conducting toxicity tests causes great harm to animals; that their nature is altered by genetic modifications and that introducing genetically modified organisms is a risk. The use of animals in research for the benefit of humans imposes the moral responsibility to respect them, not making them suffer unnecessarily, since they are living beings capable of feeling. PMID:23338641

  8. Human Research Roadmap

    NASA Video Gallery

    Crew health and performance is critical to successful human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. The Human Research Program (HRP) investigates and mitigates the highest risks to human health and per...

  9. PATENTS IN GENOMICS AND HUMAN GENETICS

    PubMed Central

    Cook-Deegan, Robert; Heaney, Christopher

    2010-01-01

    Genomics and human genetics are scientifically fundamental and commercially valuable. These fields grew to prominence in an era of growth in government and nonprofit research funding, and of even greater growth of privately funded research and development in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Patents on DNA technologies are a central feature of this story, illustrating how patent law adapts---and sometimes fails to adapt---to emerging genomic technologies. In instrumentation and for therapeutic proteins, patents have largely played their traditional role of inducing investment in engineering and product development, including expensive postdiscovery clinical research to prove safety and efficacy. Patents on methods and DNA sequences relevant to clinical genetic testing show less evidence of benefits and more evidence of problems and impediments, largely attributable to university exclusive licensing practices. Whole-genome sequencing will confront uncertainty about infringing granted patents but jurisprudence trends away from upholding the broadest and potentially most troublesome patent claims. PMID:20590431

  10. Pharmacogenetics and human genetic polymorphisms.

    PubMed

    Daly, Ann K

    2010-08-01

    The term pharmacogenetics was first used in the late 1950s and can be defined as the study of genetic factors affecting drug response. Prior to formal use of this term, there was already clinical data available in relation to variable patient responses to the drugs isoniazid, primaquine and succinylcholine. The subject area developed rapidly, particularly with regard to genetic factors affecting drug disposition. There is now comprehensive understanding of the molecular basis for variable drug metabolism by the cytochromes P450 and also for variable glucuronidation, acetylation and methylation of certain drugs. Some of this knowledge has already been translated to the clinic. The molecular basis of variation in drug targets, such as receptors and enzymes, is generally less well understood, although there is consistent evidence that polymorphisms in the genes encoding the beta-adrenergic receptors and the enzyme vitamin K epoxide reductase is of clinical importance. The genetic basis of rare idiosyncratic adverse drug reactions had also been examined. Susceptibility to reactions affecting skin and liver appears to be determined in part by the HLA (human leucocyte antigen) genotype, whereas reactions affecting the heart and muscle may be determined by polymorphisms in genes encoding ion channels and transporters respectively. Genome-wide association studies are increasingly being used to study drug response and susceptibility to adverse drug reactions, resulting in identification of some novel pharmacogenetic associations. PMID:20626352

  11. Gordon Research Conference on Genetic Toxicology

    SciTech Connect

    Project Director Penelope Jeggo

    2003-02-15

    Genetic toxicology represents a study of the genetic damage that a cell can incur, the agents that induce such damage, the damage response mechanisms available to cells and organisms, and the potential consequences of such damage. Genotoxic agents are abundant in the environment and are also induced endogenously. The consequences of such damage can include carcinogenesis and teratogenesis. An understanding of genetic toxicology is essential to carry out risk evaluations of the impact of genotoxic agents and to assess how individual genetic differences influence the response to genotoxic damage. In recent years, the importance of maintaining genomic stability has become increasingly recognized, in part by the realization that failure of the damage response mechanisms underlies many, if not all, cancer incidence. The importance of these mechanisms is also underscored by their remarkable conservation between species, allowing the study of simple organisms to provide significant input into our understanding of the underlying mechanisms. It has also become clear that the damage response mechanisms interface closely with other aspects of cellular metabolism including replication, transcription and cell cycle regulation. Moreover, defects in many of these mechanisms, as observed for example in ataxia telangiectasia patients, confer disorders with associated developmental abnormalities demonstrating their essential roles during growth and development. In short, while a decade ago, a study of the impact of DNA damage was seen as a compartmentalized area of cellular research, it is now appreciated to lie at the centre of an array of cellular responses of crucial importance to human health. Consequently, this has become a dynamic and rapidly advancing area of research. The Genetic Toxicology Gordon Research Conference is biannual with an evolving change in the emphasis of the meetings. From evaluating the nature of genotoxic chemicals, which lay at the centre of the early

  12. Xenopus Research: Metamorphosed by Genetics and Genomics

    PubMed Central

    Harland, Richard M.; Grainger, Robert M.

    2011-01-01

    Research using Xenopus takes advantage of large, abundant eggs, and readily manipulated embryos in addition to conserved cellular, developmental and genomic organization with mammals. Research on Xenopus has defined key principles of gene regulation and signal transduction, embryonic induction, morphogenesis and patterning as well as cell cycle regulation. Genomic and genetic advances in this system, including development of Xenopus tropicalis as a genetically tractable complement to the widely used Xenopus laevis, capitalize on the classical strengths and wealth of achievements. These attributes provide the tools to tackle the complex biological problems of the new century, including cellular reprogramming, organogenesis, regeneration, gene regulatory networks and protein interactions controlling growth and development, all of which provide insights into a multitude of human diseases and their potential treatments. PMID:21963197

  13. Human research subjects as human research workers.

    PubMed

    Lynch, Holly Fernandez

    2014-01-01

    Biomedical research involving human subjects has traditionally been treated as a unique endeavor, presenting special risks and demanding special protections. But in several ways, the regulatory scheme governing human subjects research is counter-intuitively less protective than the labor and employment laws applicable to many workers. This Article relies on analogical and legal reasoning to demonstrate that this should not be the case; in a number of ways, human research subjects ought to be fundamentally recast as human research workers. Like other workers protected under worklaw, biomedical research subjects often have interests that diverge from those in positions of control but little bargaining power for change. Bearing these important similarities in mind, the question becomes whether there is any good reason to treat subjects and protected workers differently as a matter of law. With regard to unrestricted payment, eligibility for a minimum wage, compensation for injury, and rights to engage in concerted activity, the answer is no and human subjects regulations ought to be revised accordingly. PMID:25051653

  14. [HIV infection and human genetics].

    PubMed

    Bobkova, M R

    2009-01-01

    The review summarizes data of recent studies on the impact of human gene polymorphisms on the possibility of HIV infection, as well as the specific features of its pathogenesis, the efficiency of HIV infection treatment and the likelihood of its complication. Main information on the mechanisms responsible for viral penetration into the sensitive cells, for immune response development and involvement of HLA and KIR molecules in this process are briefly outlined. Idea on major cell proteins affecting drug metabolism and excretion and encoding for their genes are generalized. There are many examples that show how different human gene alleles and their combinations affect the nature of the pathogenetic process and the occurrence and degree of adverse reactions. The first example of successfully using the prognostic genetic analysis (HLA-B*5701) registered in 2008 to upgrade the quality of HIV infection treatment is described in detail. Basic requirements for further genetic tests to use the optimal antiretroviral therapy schemes and to reduce its hazardous effects are formulated. PMID:20481056

  15. The Human as an Experimental System in Molecular Genetics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Ray; Caskey, C. Thomas

    1988-01-01

    Discusses insights discovered from research into human biology that are raising possibilities for therapy, prevention of disease, and challenges to society in the form of ethical decisions about the appropriate application of genetic information. (Author/RT)

  16. Human Research Program Opportunities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kundrot, Craig E.

    2014-01-01

    The goal of HRP is to provide human health and performance countermeasures, knowledge, technologies, and tools to enable safe, reliable, and productive human space exploration. The Human Research Program was designed to meet the needs of human space exploration, and understand and reduce the risk to crew health and performance in exploration missions.

  17. Personalized medicine and human genetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yi-Fan; Goldstein, David B; Angrist, Misha; Cavalleri, Gianpiero

    2014-09-01

    Human genetic diversity has long been studied both to understand how genetic variation influences risk of disease and infer aspects of human evolutionary history. In this article, we review historical and contemporary views of human genetic diversity, the rare and common mutations implicated in human disease susceptibility, and the relevance of genetic diversity to personalized medicine. First, we describe the development of thought about diversity through the 20th century and through more modern studies including genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and next-generation sequencing. We introduce several examples, such as sickle cell anemia and Tay-Sachs disease that are caused by rare mutations and are more frequent in certain geographical populations, and common treatment responses that are caused by common variants, such as hepatitis C infection. We conclude with comments about the continued relevance of human genetic diversity in medical genetics and personalized medicine more generally. PMID:25059740

  18. Personalized Medicine and Human Genetic Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Yi-Fan; Goldstein, David B.; Angrist, Misha; Cavalleri, Gianpiero

    2014-01-01

    Human genetic diversity has long been studied both to understand how genetic variation influences risk of disease and infer aspects of human evolutionary history. In this article, we review historical and contemporary views of human genetic diversity, the rare and common mutations implicated in human disease susceptibility, and the relevance of genetic diversity to personalized medicine. First, we describe the development of thought about diversity through the 20th century and through more modern studies including genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and next-generation sequencing. We introduce several examples, such as sickle cell anemia and Tay–Sachs disease that are caused by rare mutations and are more frequent in certain geographical populations, and common treatment responses that are caused by common variants, such as hepatitis C infection. We conclude with comments about the continued relevance of human genetic diversity in medical genetics and personalized medicine more generally. PMID:25059740

  19. Reverse Genetics in Ecological Research

    PubMed Central

    Schwachtje, Jens; Kutschbach, Susan; Baldwin, Ian T.

    2008-01-01

    By precisely manipulating the expression of individual genetic elements thought to be important for ecological performance, reverse genetics has the potential to revolutionize plant ecology. However, untested concerns about possible side-effects of the transformation technique, caused by Agrobacterium infection and tissue culture, on plant performance have stymied research by requiring onerous sample sizes. We compare 5 independently transformed Nicotiana attenuata lines harboring empty vector control (EVC) T-DNA lacking silencing information with isogenic wild types (WT), and measured a battery of ecologically relevant traits, known to be important in plant-herbivore interactions: phytohormones, secondary metabolites, growth and fitness parameters under stringent competitive conditions, and transcriptional regulation with microarrays. As a positive control, we included a line silenced in trypsin proteinase inhibitor gene (TPI) expression, a potent anti-herbivore defense known to exact fitness costs in its expression, in the analysis. The experiment was conducted twice, with 10 and 20 biological replicates per genotype. For all parameters, we detected no difference between any EVC and WT lines, but could readily detect a fitness benefit of silencing TPI production. A statistical power analyses revealed that the minimum sample sizes required for detecting significant fitness differences between EVC and WT was 2–3 orders of magnitude larger than the 10 replicates required to detect a fitness effect of TPI silencing. We conclude that possible side-effects of transformation are far too low to obfuscate the study of ecologically relevant phenotypes. PMID:18253491

  20. Variance components for statistical genetics: applications in medical research to characteristics related to human diseases and health.

    PubMed

    Hopper, J L

    1993-01-01

    RA Fisher introduced variance components in 1918. He synthesized Mendelian inheritance with Darwin's theory of evolution by showing that the genetic variance of a continuous trait could be decomposed into additive and non-additive components. The model can be extended to include environmental factors, interactions, covariation, and non-random mating. Identifiability depends critically on design. Methods of analysis include modelling the mean squares from a fixed effects analysis of variance, and covariance structure modelling, which can be extended to multivariate traits and has been used to study ordinal traits by reference to postulated, unmeasured, latent 'liabilities'. These methods operate on dependent observations within independent groups of the same size and structure, and therefore require balanced designs ('regular' pedigrees). A multivariate normal model handles data in its generic form, utilizes data efficiently from all members of pedigrees of unequal size or varying structure, accommodates individuals missing at random, and allows flexible modelling with tests of distributional assumptions and fit. Most analytical methods use least squares or maximum likelihood under normal theory. Robust methods, scale transformation, ascertainment, path diagrams and correlational path models (popular in behavioural genetics through addressing nonrandom mating and social interactions), 'heritability', and the contribution and limitations of statistical modelling to the 'nature-nurture' debate, are discussed. PMID:8261258

  1. Genetic & epigenetic approach to human obesity.

    PubMed

    Rao, K Rajender; Lal, Nirupama; Giridharan, N V

    2014-11-01

    Obesity is an important clinical and public health challenge, epitomized by excess adipose tissue accumulation resulting from an imbalance in energy intake and energy expenditure. It is a forerunner for a variety of other diseases such as type-2-diabetes (T2D), cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer, stroke, hyperlipidaemia and can be fatal leading to premature death. Obesity is highly heritable and arises from the interplay of multiple genes and environmental factors. Recent advancements in Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have shown important steps towards identifying genetic risks and identification of genetic markers for lifestyle diseases, especially for a metabolic disorder like obesity. According to the 12th Update of Human Obesity Gene Map there are 253 quantity trait loci (QTL) for obesity related phenotypes from 61 genome wide scan studies. Contribution of genetic propensity of individual ethnic and racial variations in obesity is an active area of research. Further, understanding its complexity as to how these variations could influence ones susceptibility to become or remain obese will lead us to a greater understanding of how obesity occurs and hopefully, how to prevent and treat this condition. In this review, various strategies adapted for such an analysis based on the recent advances in genome wide and functional variations in human obesity are discussed. PMID:25579139

  2. Genetic & epigenetic approach to human obesity

    PubMed Central

    Rao, K. Rajender; Lal, Nirupama; Giridharan, N.V.

    2014-01-01

    Obesity is an important clinical and public health challenge, epitomized by excess adipose tissue accumulation resulting from an imbalance in energy intake and energy expenditure. It is a forerunner for a variety of other diseases such as type-2-diabetes (T2D), cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer, stroke, hyperlipidaemia and can be fatal leading to premature death. Obesity is highly heritable and arises from the interplay of multiple genes and environmental factors. Recent advancements in Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have shown important steps towards identifying genetic risks and identification of genetic markers for lifestyle diseases, especially for a metabolic disorder like obesity. According to the 12th Update of Human Obesity Gene Map there are 253 quantity trait loci (QTL) for obesity related phenotypes from 61 genome wide scan studies. Contribution of genetic propensity of individual ethnic and racial variations in obesity is an active area of research. Further, understanding its complexity as to how these variations could influence ones susceptibility to become or remain obese will lead us to a greater understanding of how obesity occurs and hopefully, how to prevent and treat this condition. In this review, various strategies adapted for such an analysis based on the recent advances in genome wide and functional variations in human obesity are discussed. PMID:25579139

  3. Recollections of J.B.S. Haldane, with special reference to Human Genetics in India.

    PubMed

    Dronamraju, Krishna R

    2012-01-01

    This paper is a brief account of the scientific work of J.B.S. Haldane (1892-1964), with special reference to early research in Human Genetics. Brief descriptions of Haldane's background, his important contributions to the foundations of human genetics, his move to India from Great Britain and the research carried out in Human Genetics in India under his direction are outlined. Population genetic research on Y-linkage in man, inbreeding, color blindness and other aspects are described. PMID:22754215

  4. Recollections of J.B.S. Haldane, with special reference to Human Genetics in India

    PubMed Central

    Dronamraju, Krishna R.

    2012-01-01

    This paper is a brief account of the scientific work of J.B.S. Haldane (1892–1964), with special reference to early research in Human Genetics. Brief descriptions of Haldane's background, his important contributions to the foundations of human genetics, his move to India from Great Britain and the research carried out in Human Genetics in India under his direction are outlined. Population genetic research on Y-linkage in man, inbreeding, color blindness and other aspects are described. PMID:22754215

  5. Genetic and environmental influences on human behavioral differences.

    PubMed

    McGue, M; Bouchard, T J

    1998-01-01

    Human behavioral genetic research aimed at characterizing the existence and nature of genetic and environmental influences on individual differences in cognitive ability, personality and interests, and psychopathology is reviewed. Twin and adoption studies indicate that most behavioral characteristics are heritable. Nonetheless, efforts to identify the genes influencing behavior have produced a limited number of confirmed linkages or associations. Behavioral genetic research also documents the importance of environmental factors, but contrary to the expectations of many behavioral scientists, the relevant environmental factors appear to be those that are not shared by reared together relatives. The observation of genotype-environment correlational processes and the hypothesized existence of genotype-environment interaction effects serve to distinguish behavioral traits from the medical and physiological phenotypes studied by human geneticists. Behavioral genetic research supports the heritability, not the genetic determination, of behavior. PMID:9530489

  6. Summary of research needs for sunflower genetics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genetic research of the sunflower research unit, USDA-ARS, in Fargo, ND, was discussed in a presentation to a group of producers, industry representatives, and scientists. The need for sunflower genetic research is ever increasing with more insect and disease problems nationwide. Combined with a ren...

  7. Office for Human Research Protections

    MedlinePlus

    ... Office for Human Research Protections The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) provides leadership in the protection of the rights, welfare, and wellbeing of human subjects involved in ...

  8. Genetics of human iris colour and patterns.

    PubMed

    Sturm, Richard A; Larsson, Mats

    2009-10-01

    The presence of melanin pigment within the iris is responsible for the visual impression of human eye colouration with complex patterns also evident in this tissue, including Fuchs' crypts, nevi, Wolfflin nodules and contraction furrows. The genetic basis underlying the determination and inheritance of these traits has been the subject of debate and research from the very beginning of quantitative trait studies in humans. Although segregation of blue-brown eye colour has been described using a simple Mendelian dominant-recessive gene model this is too simplistic, and a new molecular genetic perspective is needed to fully understand the biological complexities of this process as a polygenic trait. Nevertheless, it has been estimated that 74% of the variance in human eye colour can be explained by one interval on chromosome 15 that contains the OCA2 gene. Fine mapping of this region has identified a single base change rs12913832 T/C within intron 86 of the upstream HERC2 locus that explains almost all of this association with blue-brown eye colour. A model is presented whereby this SNP, serving as a target site for the SWI/SNF family member HLTF, acts as part of a highly evolutionary conserved regulatory element required for OCA2 gene activation through chromatin remodelling. Major candidate genes possibly effecting iris patterns are also discussed, including MITF and PAX6. PMID:19619260

  9. Plasmodium falciparum genetic crosses in a humanized mouse model

    PubMed Central

    Vaughan, Ashley M.; Pinapati, Richard S.; Cheeseman, Ian H.; Camargo, Nelly; Fishbaugher, Matthew; Checkley, Lisa A.; Nair, Shalini; Hutyra, Carolyn A.; Nosten, François H.; Anderson, Timothy J. C.; Ferdig, Michael T.; Kappe, Stefan H. I.

    2015-01-01

    Genetic crosses of phenotypically distinct strains of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are a powerful tool for identifying genes controlling drug resistance and other key phenotypes. Previous studies relied on the isolation of recombinant parasites from splenectomized chimpanzees, a research avenue that is no longer available. Here, we demonstrate that human-liver chimeric mice support recovery of recombinant progeny for the identification of genetic determinants of parasite traits and adaptations. PMID:26030447

  10. National Human Genome Research Institute

    MedlinePlus

    ... for Patient Care Education All About the Human Genome Project Fact Sheets Genetic Education Resources for Teachers ... Education Kit Online Genetics Education Resources Smithsonian NHGRI Genome Exhibition Talking Glossary: English Talking Glossary: Español Issues ...

  11. Mouse genetic and phenotypic resources for human genetics

    PubMed Central

    Schofield, Paul N.; Hoehndorf, Robert; Gkoutos, Georgios V.

    2012-01-01

    The use of model organisms to provide information on gene function has proved to be a powerful approach to our understanding of both human disease and fundamental mammalian biology. Large-scale community projects using mice, based on forward and reverse genetics, and now the pan-genomic phenotyping efforts of the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC), are generating resources on an unprecedented scale which will be extremely valuable to human genetics and medicine. We discuss the nature and availability of data, mice and ES cells from these large-scale programmes, the use of these resources to help prioritise and validate candidate genes in human genetic association studies, and how they can improve our understanding of the underlying pathobiology of human disease. PMID:22422677

  12. Human genetics in Johannesburg, South Africa: past, present and future.

    PubMed

    Kromberg, Jennifer G R; Krause, Amanda

    2013-12-01

    Genetic services were set up in Johannesburg, South Africa, in the late 1960s, but only became widespread and formalised after the first Professor of Human Genetics, Trefor Jenkins, was installed at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1974. The first services involved chromosome studies, and these developed into genetic counselling services. Prenatal diagnosis began to be offered, particularly for older women at risk for chromosome abnormalities in the fetus, and those at risk for neural tube defects. Genetic screening was then initiated for the Jewish community because of their high carrier rate for Tay-Sachs disease. Educational courses in human genetics were offered at Wits Medical School, and medical as well as other health professionals began to be trained. Research, supported by national and international bodies, was integral in the activities of the Department (now Division) of Human Genetics and focused on genetic conditions affecting the generally understudied black community. In the late 1980s the first training programme for genetic counsellors was started at MSc level, and postgraduate scientists at MSc and PhD levels studied in and qualified through the Department. At the same time molecular genetic laboratories were set up. In the late 1990s training for medical geneticists was initiated. Extensive high-quality genetic services developed over the four decades were comparable to those of most other departments in developed countries.  PMID:24300637

  13. Mapping genetic influences on human brain structure.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Paul; Cannon, Tyrone D; Toga, Arthur W

    2002-01-01

    Recent advances in brain imaging and genetics have empowered the mapping of genetic and environmental influences on the human brain. These techniques shed light on the 'nature/nurture' debate, revealing how genes determine individual differences in intelligence quotient (IQ) or risk for disease. They visualize which aspects of brain structure and function are heritable, and to what degree, linking these features with behavioral or cognitive traits or disease phenotypes. In genetically transmitted disorders such as schizophrenia, patterns of brain structure can be associated with increased disease liability, and sites can be mapped where non-genetic triggers may initiate disease. We recently developed a large-scale computational brain atlas, including data components from the Finnish Twin registry, to store information on individual variations in brain structure and their heritability. Algorithms from random field theory, anatomical modeling, and population genetics were combined to detect a genetic continuum in which brain structure is heavily genetically determined in some areas but not others. These algorithmic advances motivate studies of disease in which the normative atlas acts as a quantitative reference for the heritability of structural differences and deficits in patient populations. The resulting genetic brain maps isolate biological markers for inherited traits and disease susceptibility, which may serve as targets for genetic linkage and association studies. Computational methods from brain imaging and genetics can be fruitfully merged, to shed light on the inheritance of personality differences and behavioral traits, and the genetic transmission of diseases that affect the human brain. PMID:12553492

  14. The Sonoda–Tajima Cell Collection: A Human Genetics Research Resource with Emphasis on South American Indigenous Populations

    PubMed Central

    Danjoh, Inaho; Saijo, Kaoru; Hiroyama, Takashi

    2011-01-01

    The Sonoda–Tajima Cell Collection includes cell samples obtained from a range of ethnic minority groups across the world but in particular from South America. The collection is made all the more valuable by the fact that some of these ethnic populations have since died out, and thus it will be impossible to prepare a similar cell collection again. The collection was donated to our institute, a public cell bank in Japan, by Drs Sonoda and Tajima to make it available to researchers throughout the world. The original cell collection was composed of cryopreserved peripheral blood samples that would obviously have been rapidly exhausted if used directly. We, therefore, immortalized some samples with the Epstein–Barr virus and established B-lymphoblastoid cell lines (B-LCLs). As there is continuing controversy over whether the B-LCL genome is stably maintained, we performed an array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) analysis to confirm the genomic stability of the cell lines. The array CGH analysis of the B-LCL lines and their parental B cells demonstrated that genomic stability was maintained in the long-term cell cultures. The B-LCLs of the Sonoda–Tajima Collection will therefore be made available to interested scientists around the world. At present, 512 B-LCLs have been developed, and we are willing to increase the number if there is sufficient demand. PMID:21383383

  15. CRISPR: a versatile tool for both forward and reverse genetics research.

    PubMed

    Gurumurthy, Channabasavaiah B; Grati, M'hamed; Ohtsuka, Masato; Schilit, Samantha L P; Quadros, Rolen M; Liu, Xue Zhong

    2016-09-01

    Human genetics research employs the two opposing approaches of forward and reverse genetics. While forward genetics identifies and links a mutation to an observed disease etiology, reverse genetics induces mutations in model organisms to study their role in disease. In most cases, causality for mutations identified by forward genetics is confirmed by reverse genetics through the development of genetically engineered animal models and an assessment of whether the model can recapitulate the disease. While many technological advances have helped improve these approaches, some gaps still remain. CRISPR/Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated), which has emerged as a revolutionary genetic engineering tool, holds great promise for closing such gaps. By combining the benefits of forward and reverse genetics, it has dramatically expedited human genetics research. We provide a perspective on the power of CRISPR-based forward and reverse genetics tools in human genetics and discuss its applications using some disease examples. PMID:27384229

  16. Counseling Implications of Genetic Research: A Dialogue with Thomas Bouchard.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skovholt, Thomas M.

    1990-01-01

    Presents interview with Thomas Bouchard, a leading researcher of identical twins reared apart. Describes major themes in the Minnesota twin research. Claims, although genetic influence is central, Bouchard pleas for the impact of environmental factors in optimal human development. Includes Bouchard's surprising experiences, current focus, and…

  17. GENETICS OF HUMAN AGE RELATED DISORDERS.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, I; Thukral, N; Hasija, Y

    2015-01-01

    Aging is an inevitable biological phenomenon. The incidence of age related disorders (ARDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, arthritis, dementia, osteoporosis, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases increase rapidly with aging. ARDs are becoming a key social and economic trouble for the world's elderly population (above 60 years), which is expected to reach 2 billion by 2050. Advancement in understanding of genetic associations, particularly through genome wide association studies (GWAS), has revealed a substantial contribution of genes to human aging and ARDs. In this review, we have focused on the recent understanding of the extent to which genetic predisposition may influence the aging process. Further analysis of the genetic association studies through pathway analysis several genes associated with multiple ARDs have been highlighted such as apolipoprotein E (APOE), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), cadherin 13 (CDH13), CDK5 regulatory subunit associated protein 1 (CDKAL-1), methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1), nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS3), paraoxonase 1 (PON1), indicating that these genes could play a pivotal role in ARD causation. These genes were found to be significantly enriched in Jak-STAT signalling pathway, asthma and allograft rejection. Further, interleukin-6 (IL-6), insulin (INS), vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA), estrogen receptor1 (ESR1), transforming growth factor, beta 1(TGFB1) and calmodulin 1 (CALM1) were found to be highly interconnected in network analysis. We believe that extensive research on the presence of common genetic variants among various ARDs may facilitate scientists to understand the biology behind ARDs causation. PMID:26856084

  18. Human embryonic stem cells carrying mutations for severe genetic disorders.

    PubMed

    Frumkin, Tsvia; Malcov, Mira; Telias, Michael; Gold, Veronica; Schwartz, Tamar; Azem, Foad; Amit, Ami; Yaron, Yuval; Ben-Yosef, Dalit

    2010-04-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (HESCs) carrying specific mutations potentially provide a valuable tool for studying genetic disorders in humans. One preferable approach for obtaining these cell lines is by deriving them from affected preimplantation genetically diagnosed embryos. These unique cells are especially important for modeling human genetic disorders for which there are no adequate research models. They can be further used to gain new insights into developmentally regulated events that occur during human embryo development and that are responsible for the manifestation of genetically inherited disorders. They also have great value for the exploration of new therapeutic protocols, including gene-therapy-based treatments and disease-oriented drug screening and discovery. Here, we report the establishment of 15 different mutant human embryonic stem cell lines derived from genetically affected embryos, all donated by couples undergoing preimplantation genetic diagnosis in our in vitro fertilization unit. For further information regarding access to HESC lines from our repository, for research purposes, please email dalitb@tasmc.health.gov.il. PMID:20186514

  19. Molecular genetics of human myopia: an update.

    PubMed

    Young, Terri L

    2009-01-01

    Myopia, or nearsightedness, is the most common human eye disorder in the world, and is a significant global public health concern. Along with cataract, macular degeneration, infectious disease, and vitamin A deficiency, myopia is one of the most important causes of visual impairment worldwide. Severe or high-grade myopia is a leading cause of blindness because of its associated ocular morbidities of retinal detachment, macular choroidal degeneration, premature cataract, and glaucoma. Ample evidence documents the heritability of the non-syndromic forms of this condition, especially for high-grade myopia, commonly referred to as myopic spherical refractive power of 5 to 6 diopters or higher. Multiple high-grade myopia genetic loci have been identified, and confirmatory studies identifying high-grade and moderate myopia loci have also occurred. In general, myopia susceptibility genes are unknown with few association studies performed, and without confirmation in other research laboratories or testing of separate patient cohorts. PMID:19104467

  20. The genetics of neuroticism and human values

    PubMed Central

    Lancaster, Thomas M.; Maio, Gregory R.; Linden, David E. J.

    2016-01-01

    Human values and personality have been shown to share genetic variance in twin studies. However, there is a lack of evidence about the genetic components of this association. This study examined the interplay between genes, values and personality in the case of neuroticism, because polygenic scores were available for this personality trait. First, we replicated prior evidence of a positive association between the polygenic neuroticism score (PNS) and neuroticism. Second, we found that the PNS was significantly associated with the whole human value space in a sinusoidal waveform that was consistent with Schwartz's circular model of human values. These results suggest that it is useful to consider human values in the analyses of genetic contributions to personality traits. They also pave the way for an investigation of the biological mechanisms contributing to human value orientations. PMID:26915771

  1. Behavioral genetics '97: ASHG statement. Recent developments in human behavioral genetics: past accomplishments and future directions.

    PubMed Central

    Sherman, S L; DeFries, J C; Gottesman, I I; Loehlin, J C; Meyer, J M; Pelias, M Z; Rice, J; Waldman, I

    1997-01-01

    The field of behavioral genetics has enormous potential to uncover both genetic and environmental influences on normal and deviant behavior. Behavioral-genetic methods are based on a solid foundation of theories and methods that successfully have delineated components of complex traits in plants and animals. New resources are now available to dissect the genetic component of these complex traits. As specific genes are identified, we can begin to explore how these interact with environmental factors in development. How we interpret such findings, how we ask new questions, how we celebrate the knowledge, and how we use or misuse this knowledge are all important considerations. These issues are pervasive in all areas of human research, and they are especially salient in human behavioral genetics. PMID:9199545

  2. Genetically Engineered Pig Models for Human Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Prather, Randall S.; Lorson, Monique; Ross, Jason W.; Whyte, Jeffrey J.; Walters, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Although pigs are used widely as models of human disease, their utility as models has been enhanced by genetic engineering. Initially, transgenes were added randomly to the genome, but with the application of homologous recombination, zinc finger nucleases, and transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) technologies, now most any genetic change that can be envisioned can be completed. To date these genetic modifications have resulted in animals that have the potential to provide new insights into human diseases for which a good animal model did not exist previously. These new animal models should provide the preclinical data for treatments that are developed for diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, cystic fibrosis, retinitis pigmentosa, spinal muscular atrophy, diabetes, and organ failure. These new models will help to uncover aspects and treatments of these diseases that were otherwise unattainable. The focus of this review is to describe genetically engineered pigs that have resulted in models of human diseases. PMID:25387017

  3. Genetic Diversity and Human Equality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dobzhansky, Theodosius

    The idea of equality often, if not frequently, bogs down in confusion and apparent contradictions; equality is confused with identity, and diversity with inequality. It would seem that the easiest way to discredit the idea of equality is to show that people are innately, genetically, and, therefore, irremediably diverse and unlike. The snare is,…

  4. Genetic variability in human immunodeficiency viruses.

    PubMed

    Alizon, M; Montagnier, L

    1987-01-01

    The genetic polymorphism of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been established. In addition to the nucleic acid variations responsible for the restriction map polymorphism, isolates of HIV differ significantly at the protein level, especially in the envelope, in terms of amino acid substitutions and reciprocal insertions-deletions. In this investigation, molecular cloning and nucleotide sequencing of the genomes of 2 HIV isolates obtained from patients in Zaire were carried out. The 1st isolate was recovered in 1983 from a 24-year-old woman with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS); the 2nd was isolated in 1985 from a 7-year-old boy with AIDS-related complex (ARC). The genetic organization of these isolates was identical to that found in other HIV isolates from the US and Europe, particularly in terms of the conservation of the central region located between the pol and env genes composed of a series of overlapping open reading frames. There were, however, substantial differences in the primary structure of the viral proteins, with env being more variable than the gag and pol genes. Alignment of the envelopes revealed hypervariable domains with a great number of mutations and reciprocal insertions and deletions. Overall, this analysis suggests that the African and American HIV infections have a common origin given their identical genetic organization. The sequence variability reflects a divergent evolutionary process, and the fact that the 2 Zairian isolates were more divergent than American isolates studied by others indicates a longer evolution of HIV in Africa. An essential research goal is to identify the HIV envelope domains responsible for the virus-cellular surface antigen interaction since an immune response against these epitopes could elicit neutralizing antibodies for use in a vaccine. PMID:3439717

  5. Glenn Research Center Human Research Program: Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nall, Marsha M.; Myers, Jerry G.

    2013-01-01

    The NASA-Glenn Research Centers Human Research Program office supports a wide range of technology development efforts aimed at enabling extended human presence in space. This presentation provides a brief overview of the historical successes, current 2013 activities and future projects of NASA-GRCs Human Research Program.

  6. Understanding of research, genetics and genetic research in a rapid ethical assessment in north west Cameroon

    PubMed Central

    Kengne-Ouafo, Jonas A.; Millard, James D.; Nji, Theobald M.; Tantoh, William F.; Nyoh, Doris N.; Tendongfor, Nicholas; Enyong, Peter A.; Newport, Melanie J.; Davey, Gail; Wanji, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    Background There is limited assessment of whether research participants in low-income settings are afforded a full understanding of the meaning of medical research. There may also be particular issues with the understanding of genetic research. We used a rapid ethical assessment methodology to explore perceptions surrounding the meaning of research, genetics and genetic research in north west Cameroon. Methods Eleven focus group discussions (including 107 adults) and 72 in-depth interviews were conducted with various stakeholders in two health districts in north west Cameroon between February and April 2012. Results Most participants appreciated the role of research in generating knowledge and identified a difference between research and healthcare but gave varied explanations as to this difference. Most participants' understanding of genetics was limited to concepts of hereditary, with potential benefits limited to the level of the individual or family. Explanations based on supernatural beliefs were identified as a special issue but participants tended not to identify any other special risks with genetic research. Conclusion We demonstrated a variable level of understanding of research, genetics and genetic research, with implications for those carrying out genetic research in this and other low resource settings. Our study highlights the utility of rapid ethical assessment prior to complex or sensitive research. PMID:25969503

  7. Sports genetics moving forward: lessons learned from medical research.

    PubMed

    Mattsson, C Mikael; Wheeler, Matthew T; Waggott, Daryl; Caleshu, Colleen; Ashley, Euan A

    2016-03-01

    Sports genetics can take advantage of lessons learned from human disease genetics. By righting past mistakes and increasing scientific rigor, we can magnify the breadth and depth of knowledge in the field. We present an outline of challenges facing sports genetics in the light of experiences from medical research. Sports performance is complex, resulting from a combination of a wide variety of different traits and attributes. Improving sports genetics will foremost require analyses based on detailed phenotyping. To find widely valid, reproducible common variants associated with athletic phenotypes, study sample sizes must be dramatically increased. One paradox is that in order to confirm relevance, replications in specific populations must be undertaken. Family studies of athletes may facilitate the discovery of rare variants with large effects on athletic phenotypes. The complexity of the human genome, combined with the complexity of athletic phenotypes, will require additional metadata and biological validation to identify a comprehensive set of genes involved. Analysis of personal genetic and multiomic profiles contribute to our conceptualization of precision medicine; the same will be the case in precision sports science. In the refinement of sports genetics it is essential to evaluate similarities and differences between sexes and among ethnicities. Sports genetics to date have been hampered by small sample sizes and biased methodology, which can lead to erroneous associations and overestimation of effect sizes. Consequently, currently available genetic tests based on these inherently limited data cannot predict athletic performance with any accuracy. PMID:26757801

  8. Inauguration of the cameroonian society of human genetics.

    PubMed

    Wonkam, Ambroise; Kenfack, Marcel Azabji; Bigoga, Jude; Nkegoum, Blaise; Muna, Wali

    2009-01-01

    The conjunction of "hard genetics" research centers, with well established biomedical and bioethics research groups, and the exceptional possibility to hold the 6th annual meeting of the African Society of Human Genetics (AfSHG, 13th-15th March 2009) was an excellent opportunity to get together in synergy the entire Cameroonian "DNA/RNA scientists" . This laid to the foundation of the Cameroonian Society of Human Genetics (CSHG) that was privilege to hold its inaugural meeting in conjunction to the 6th annual meeting of the AfSHG. The theme was "Human Origin, Genetic Diversity and Health". The AfSHG and CSHG invited leading African and international scientists in genomics and population genetics to review recent data and provide an understanding of the state-of-knowledge of Human Origin and Genetic Diversity. Overall one opening ceremony eight session, five keynote and guest speakers, 18 invited oral communications, 13 free oral communications, 43 posters and two social events could summarize the meeting. This year's conference was graced by the presence of one Nobel Prize winner Dr Richard Roberts (Physiology and Medicine 1993). The meeting registered up to ten contributions of Cameroonian scientists from the Diaspora (currently in USA, Belgium, Gambia, Sudan and Zimbabwe). Such Diaspora participation is an opportunity to generate collaborations with home country scientists and ultimately turn the "brain drain" to "brain circulation" that could reduce the impact of the migration of health professional from Africa. Interestingly, the personal implication of the Cameroonian Ministry of Public Heath who opened the meeting in the presence of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Higher Education and a representative of the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation was a wonderful opportunity for advocacy of genetic issues at the decision-makers level. Beyond our expectation, a major promise of the Cameroonian government was the creation of the National Human

  9. Population genetics of malaria resistance in humans.

    PubMed

    Hedrick, P W

    2011-10-01

    The high mortality and widespread impact of malaria have resulted in this disease being the strongest evolutionary selective force in recent human history, and genes that confer resistance to malaria provide some of the best-known case studies of strong positive selection in modern humans. I begin by reviewing JBS Haldane's initial contribution to the potential of malaria genetic resistance in humans. Further, I discuss the population genetics aspects of many of the variants, including globin, G6PD deficiency, Duffy, ovalocytosis, ABO and human leukocyte antigen variants. Many of the variants conferring resistance to malaria are 'loss-of-function' mutants and appear to be recent polymorphisms from the last 5000-10 000 years or less. I discuss estimation of selection coefficients from case-control data and make predictions about the change for S, C and G6PD-deficiency variants. In addition, I consider the predicted joint changes when the two β-globin alleles S and C are both variable in the same population and when there is a variation for α-thalassemia and S, two unlinked, but epistatic variants. As more becomes known about genes conferring genetic resistance to malaria in humans, population genetics approaches can contribute both to investigating past selection and predicting the consequences in future generations for these variants. PMID:21427751

  10. Population genetics of malaria resistance in humans

    PubMed Central

    Hedrick, P W

    2011-01-01

    The high mortality and widespread impact of malaria have resulted in this disease being the strongest evolutionary selective force in recent human history, and genes that confer resistance to malaria provide some of the best-known case studies of strong positive selection in modern humans. I begin by reviewing JBS Haldane's initial contribution to the potential of malaria genetic resistance in humans. Further, I discuss the population genetics aspects of many of the variants, including globin, G6PD deficiency, Duffy, ovalocytosis, ABO and human leukocyte antigen variants. Many of the variants conferring resistance to malaria are ‘loss-of-function' mutants and appear to be recent polymorphisms from the last 5000–10 000 years or less. I discuss estimation of selection coefficients from case–control data and make predictions about the change for S, C and G6PD-deficiency variants. In addition, I consider the predicted joint changes when the two β-globin alleles S and C are both variable in the same population and when there is a variation for α-thalassemia and S, two unlinked, but epistatic variants. As more becomes known about genes conferring genetic resistance to malaria in humans, population genetics approaches can contribute both to investigating past selection and predicting the consequences in future generations for these variants. PMID:21427751

  11. Consent for genetic research in the Framingham Heart Study.

    PubMed

    Levy, Daniel; Splansky, Greta Lee; Strand, Nicolle K; Atwood, Larry D; Benjamin, Emelia J; Blease, Susan; Cupples, L Adrienne; D'Agostino, Ralph B; Fox, Caroline S; Kelly-Hayes, Margaret; Koski, Greg; Larson, Martin G; Mutalik, Karen M; Oberacker, Elizabeth; O'Donnell, Christopher J; Sutherland, Patrice; Valentino, Maureen; Vasan, Ramachandran S; Wolf, Philip A; Murabito, Joanne M

    2010-05-01

    Extensive efforts have been aimed at understanding the genetic underpinnings of complex diseases that affect humans. Numerous genome-wide association studies have assessed the association of genes with human disease, including the Framingham Heart Study (FHS), which genotyped 550,000 SNPs in 9,000 participants. The success of such efforts requires high rates of consent by participants, which is dependent on ethical oversight, communications, and trust between research participants and investigators. To study this we calculated percentages of participants who consented to collection of DNA and to various uses of their genetic information in two FHS cohorts between 2002 and 2009. The data included rates of consent for providing a DNA sample, creating an immortalized cell line, conducting research on various genetic conditions including those that might be considered sensitive, and for notifying participants of clinically significant genetic findings were above 95%. Only with regard to granting permission to share DNA or genetic findings with for-profit companies was the consent rate below 95%. We concluded that the FHS has maintained high rates of retention and consent for genetic research that has provided the scientific freedom to establish collaborations and address a broad range of research questions. We speculate that our high rates of consent have been achieved by establishing frequent and open communications with participants that highlight extensive oversight procedures. Our approach to maintaining high consent rates via ethical oversight of genetic research and communication with study participants is summarized in this report and should be of help to other studies engaged in similar types of research. Published 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. PMID:20425830

  12. Large animal models of rare genetic disorders: sheep as phenotypically relevant models of human genetic disease.

    PubMed

    Pinnapureddy, Ashish R; Stayner, Cherie; McEwan, John; Baddeley, Olivia; Forman, John; Eccles, Michael R

    2015-01-01

    Animals that accurately model human disease are invaluable in medical research, allowing a critical understanding of disease mechanisms, and the opportunity to evaluate the effect of therapeutic compounds in pre-clinical studies. Many types of animal models are used world-wide, with the most common being small laboratory animals, such as mice. However, rodents often do not faithfully replicate human disease, despite their predominant use in research. This discordancy is due in part to physiological differences, such as body size and longevity. In contrast, large animal models, including sheep, provide an alternative to mice for biomedical research due to their greater physiological parallels with humans. Completion of the full genome sequences of many species, and the advent of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies, means it is now feasible to screen large populations of domesticated animals for genetic variants that resemble human genetic diseases, and generate models that more accurately model rare human pathologies. In this review, we discuss the notion of using sheep as large animal models, and their advantages in modelling human genetic disease. We exemplify several existing naturally occurring ovine variants in genes that are orthologous to human disease genes, such as the Cln6 sheep model for Batten disease. These, and other sheep models, have contributed significantly to our understanding of the relevant human disease process, in addition to providing opportunities to trial new therapies in animals with similar body and organ size to humans. Therefore sheep are a significant species with respect to the modelling of rare genetic human disease, which we summarize in this review. PMID:26329332

  13. Genetically modified animals and pharmacological research.

    PubMed

    Wells, Dominic J

    2010-01-01

    This chapter reviews the use of genetically modified animals and the increasingly detailed knowledge of the genomes of the domestic species. The different approaches to genetic modification are outlined as are the advantages and disadvantages of the techniques in different species. Genetically modified mice have been fundamental in understanding gene function and in generating affordable models of human disease although these are not without their drawbacks. Transgenic farm animals have been developed for nutritionally enhanced food, disease resistance and xenografting. Transgenic rabbits, goats, sheep and cows have been developed as living bioreactors producing potentially high value biopharmaceuticals, commonly referred to as "pharming". Domestic animals are also important as a target as well as for testing genetic-based therapies for both inherited and acquired disease. This latter field may be the most important of all, in the future development of novel therapies. PMID:20204589

  14. Implications of the apportionment of human genetic diversity for the apportionment of human phenotypic diversity

    PubMed Central

    Edge, Michael D.; Rosenberg, Noah A.

    2015-01-01

    Researchers in many fields have considered the meaning of two results about genetic variation for concepts of “race.” First, at most genetic loci, apportionments of human genetic diversity find that worldwide populations are genetically similar. Second, when multiple genetic loci are examined, it is possible to distinguish people with ancestry from different geographical regions. These two results raise an important question about human phenotypic diversity: To what extent do populations typically differ on phenotypes determined by multiple genetic loci? It might be expected that such phenotypes follow the pattern of similarity observed at individual loci. Alternatively, because they have a multilocus genetic architecture, they might follow the pattern of greater differentiation suggested by multilocus ancestry inference. To address the question, we extend a well-known classification model of Edwards (2003) by adding a selectively neutral quantitative trait. Using the extended model, we show, in line with previous work in quantitative genetics, that regardless of how many genetic loci influence the trait, one neutral trait is approximately as informative about ancestry as a single genetic locus. The results support the relevance of single-locus genetic-diversity partitioning for predictions about phenotypic diversity. PMID:25677859

  15. Human genetics shape the gut microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Goodrich, Julia K.; Waters, Jillian L.; Poole, Angela C.; Sutter, Jessica L.; Koren, Omry; Blekhman, Ran; Beaumont, Michelle; Van Treuren, William; Knight, Rob; Bell, Jordana T.; Spector, Timothy D.; Clark, Andrew G.; Ley, Ruth E.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Host genetics and the gut microbiome can both influence metabolic phenotypes. However, whether host genetic variation shapes the gut microbiome and interacts with it to affect host phenotype is unclear. Here, we compared microbiotas across > 1,000 fecal samples obtained from the TwinsUK population, including 416 twin-pairs. We identified many microbial taxa whose abundances were influenced by host genetics. The most heritable taxon, the family Christensenellaceae, formed a cooccurrence network with other heritable Bacteria and with methanogenic Archaea. Furthermore, Christensenellaceae and its partners were enriched in individuals with low body mass index (BMI). An obese-associated microbiome was amended with Christensenella minuta, a cultured member of the Christensenellaceae, and transplanted to germfree mice. C. minuta amendment reduced weight gain and altered the microbiome of recipient mice. Our findings indicate that host genetics influence the composition of the human gut microbiome and can do so in ways that impact host metabolism. PMID:25417156

  16. The genetics of human skin disease.

    PubMed

    DeStefano, Gina M; Christiano, Angela M

    2014-10-01

    The skin is composed of a variety of cell types expressing specific molecules and possessing different properties that facilitate the complex interactions and intercellular communication essential for maintaining the structural integrity of the skin. Importantly, a single mutation in one of these molecules can disrupt the entire organization and function of these essential networks, leading to cell separation, blistering, and other striking phenotypes observed in inherited skin diseases. Over the past several decades, the genetic basis of many monogenic skin diseases has been elucidated using classical genetic techniques. Importantly, the findings from these studies has shed light onto the many classes of molecules and essential genetic as well as molecular interactions that lend the skin its rigid, yet flexible properties. With the advent of the human genome project, next-generation sequencing techniques, as well as several other recently developed methods, tremendous progress has been made in dissecting the genetic architecture of complex, non-Mendelian skin diseases. PMID:25274756

  17. Human genetics: international projects and personalized medicine.

    PubMed

    Apellaniz-Ruiz, Maria; Gallego, Cristina; Ruiz-Pinto, Sara; Carracedo, Angel; Rodríguez-Antona, Cristina

    2016-03-01

    In this article, we present the progress driven by the recent technological advances and new revolutionary massive sequencing technologies in the field of human genetics. We discuss this knowledge in relation with drug response prediction, from the germline genetic variation compiled in the 1000 Genomes Project or in the Genotype-Tissue Expression project, to the phenome-genome archives, the international cancer projects, such as The Cancer Genome Atlas or the International Cancer Genome Consortium, and the epigenetic variation and its influence in gene expression, including the regulation of drug metabolism. This review is based on the lectures presented by the speakers of the Symposium "Human Genetics: International Projects & New Technologies" from the VII Conference of the Spanish Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics Society, held on the 20th and 21st of April 2015. PMID:26581075

  18. Human fertility, molecular genetics, and natural selection in modern societies.

    PubMed

    Tropf, Felix C; Stulp, Gert; Barban, Nicola; Visscher, Peter M; Yang, Jian; Snieder, Harold; Mills, Melinda C

    2015-01-01

    Research on genetic influences on human fertility outcomes such as number of children ever born (NEB) or the age at first childbirth (AFB) has been solely based on twin and family-designs that suffer from problematic assumptions and practical limitations. The current study exploits recent advances in the field of molecular genetics by applying the genomic-relationship-matrix based restricted maximum likelihood (GREML) methods to quantify for the first time the extent to which common genetic variants influence the NEB and the AFB of women. Using data from the UK and the Netherlands (N = 6,758), results show significant additive genetic effects on both traits explaining 10% (SE = 5) of the variance in the NEB and 15% (SE = 4) in the AFB. We further find a significant negative genetic correlation between AFB and NEB in the pooled sample of -0.62 (SE = 0.27, p-value = 0.02). This finding implies that individuals with genetic predispositions for an earlier AFB had a reproductive advantage and that natural selection operated not only in historical, but also in contemporary populations. The observed postponement in the AFB across the past century in Europe contrasts with these findings, suggesting an evolutionary override by environmental effects and underscoring that evolutionary predictions in modern human societies are not straight forward. It emphasizes the necessity for an integrative research design from the fields of genetics and social sciences in order to understand and predict fertility outcomes. Finally, our results suggest that we may be able to find genetic variants associated with human fertility when conducting GWAS-meta analyses with sufficient sample size. PMID:26039877

  19. Human Fertility, Molecular Genetics, and Natural Selection in Modern Societies

    PubMed Central

    Tropf, Felix C.; Stulp, Gert; Barban, Nicola; Visscher, Peter M.; Yang, Jian; Snieder, Harold; Mills, Melinda C.

    2015-01-01

    Research on genetic influences on human fertility outcomes such as number of children ever born (NEB) or the age at first childbirth (AFB) has been solely based on twin and family-designs that suffer from problematic assumptions and practical limitations. The current study exploits recent advances in the field of molecular genetics by applying the genomic-relationship-matrix based restricted maximum likelihood (GREML) methods to quantify for the first time the extent to which common genetic variants influence the NEB and the AFB of women. Using data from the UK and the Netherlands (N = 6,758), results show significant additive genetic effects on both traits explaining 10% (SE = 5) of the variance in the NEB and 15% (SE = 4) in the AFB. We further find a significant negative genetic correlation between AFB and NEB in the pooled sample of –0.62 (SE = 0.27, p-value = 0.02). This finding implies that individuals with genetic predispositions for an earlier AFB had a reproductive advantage and that natural selection operated not only in historical, but also in contemporary populations. The observed postponement in the AFB across the past century in Europe contrasts with these findings, suggesting an evolutionary override by environmental effects and underscoring that evolutionary predictions in modern human societies are not straight forward. It emphasizes the necessity for an integrative research design from the fields of genetics and social sciences in order to understand and predict fertility outcomes. Finally, our results suggest that we may be able to find genetic variants associated with human fertility when conducting GWAS-meta analyses with sufficient sample size. PMID:26039877

  20. Sharing the benefits of genetic resources: from biodiversity to human genetics.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Doris; Lasén-Díaz, Carolina

    2006-12-01

    Benefit sharing aims to achieve an equitable exchange between the granting of access to a genetic resource and the provision of compensation. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, is the only international legal instrument setting out obligations for sharing the benefits derived from the use of biodiversity. The CBD excludes human genetic resources from its scope, however, this article considers whether it should be expanded to include those resources, so as to enable research subjects to claim a share of the benefits to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Our conclusion on this question is: 'No, the CBD should not be expanded to include human genetic resources.' There are essential differences between human and non-human genetic resources, and, in the context of research on humans, an essentially fair exchange model is already available between the health care industry and research subjects. Those who contribute to research should receive benefits in the form of accessible new health care products and services, suitable for local health needs and linked to economic prosperity (e.g. jobs). When this exchange model does not apply, as is often the case in developing countries, individually negotiated benefit sharing agreements between researchers and research subjects should not be used as 'window dressing'. Instead, national governments should focus their finances on the best economic investment they could make; the investment in population health and health research as outlined by the World Health Organization's Commission on Macroeconomics and Health; whilst international barriers to such spending need to be removed. PMID:17038005

  1. Internet solicitation of research subjects for genetic studies

    SciTech Connect

    Biesecker, L.G.; DeRenzo, E.G.

    1995-11-01

    Communication through electronic messages on the Internet has become a rapid and effective method for exchanging ideas and information in many disciplines. The Human Molecular Genetics network Diagnostics and Clinical Research Section (hum-molgen@nic.surfnet.nl) is now serving this function for the field of human molecular genetics. Our attention was drawn to the power and the pitfalls of this information exchange when we read a solicitation for research subjects by a Canadian medical student. The student was initiating a summer research project on an inherited disorder and requested information to determine the frequency of the disorder and to collect blood samples of affected patients. The student also requested samples of stored blood or DNA of affected persons. On other occasions, the hum-mol-gen service has also been used by clinicians to announce the availability of patients with a particular disorder (or their blood samples) who are interested in participating in research projects. Such uses of the Internet can serve to facilitate communication between researchers and clinicians and enhance clinical research. We believe, however, that some guidelines are necessary to protect human subjects. Investigators in the United States who are subject to U.S. Federal Government human subjects research regulations, or who are attached to an institution conducting such research, should consider some important issues before placing or responding to a request on the Internet. 1 ref.

  2. Genetic Manipulation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Eiges, Rachel

    2016-01-01

    One of the great advantages of embryonic stem (ES) cells over other cell types is their accessibility to genetic manipulation. They can easily undergo genetic modifications while remaining pluripotent, and can be selectively propagated, allowing the clonal expansion of genetically altered cells in culture. Since the first isolation of ES cells in mice, many effective techniques have been developed for gene delivery and manipulation of ES cells. These include transfection, electroporation, and infection protocols, as well as different approaches for inserting, deleting, or changing the expression of genes. These methods proved to be extremely useful in mouse ES cells, for monitoring and directing differentiation, discovering unknown genes, and studying their function, and are now being extensively implemented in human ES cells (HESCs). This chapter describes the different approaches and methodologies that have been applied for the genetic manipulation of HESCs and their applications. Detailed protocols for generating clones of genetically modified HESCs by transfection, electroporation, and infection will be described, with special emphasis on the important technical details that are required for this purpose. All protocols are equally effective in human-induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. PMID:25520283

  3. [Mycotoxin research in humans].

    PubMed

    Lazo, Ramón F; Sierra, Gonzalo

    2008-03-01

    This study investigates the occurrence of aflatoxins in Ecuador. Early investigators proved the presence of aflatoxins in human and animal food, but the disturbing data lead to the formation of two research teams at Guayaquil University and the Agrarian University of Ecuador to investigate aflaxotins and other mycotoxins in food and their relationship to human health. Because the concept of mycotoxicosis as a result of the secondary metabolites produced by different species of moulds could cause different clinical patterns, the research team includes Aspergillus metabolites found in the urine of a patient with pulmonary aspergilloma. We considered that the body itself could create secondary metabolites. An ELISA method was used to detect mycotoxins with the specific reactive compounds using a company base assay. This allows the detection quantitative of such metabolites in 24 h collected urine. The patient was treated with itraconazole for nine months, after clinical, radiological and aflatoxins testing. We also investigated three other cases in children with a second level of malnutrition and only with vomitoxins results and in three investigated cases of otomycosis caused by Aspergillus niger only in one case traces of aflatoxins were found. PMID:18338920

  4. Human Genetic Disorders of Axon Guidance

    PubMed Central

    Engle, Elizabeth C.

    2010-01-01

    This article reviews symptoms and signs of aberrant axon connectivity in humans, and summarizes major human genetic disorders that result, or have been proposed to result, from defective axon guidance. These include corpus callosum agenesis, L1 syndrome, Joubert syndrome and related disorders, horizontal gaze palsy with progressive scoliosis, Kallmann syndrome, albinism, congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles type 1, Duane retraction syndrome, and pontine tegmental cap dysplasia. Genes mutated in these disorders can encode axon growth cone ligands and receptors, downstream signaling molecules, and axon transport motors, as well as proteins without currently recognized roles in axon guidance. Advances in neuroimaging and genetic techniques have the potential to rapidly expand this field, and it is feasible that axon guidance disorders will soon be recognized as a new and significant category of human neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:20300212

  5. Genetic Heterogeneity in Algerian Human Populations

    PubMed Central

    Deba, Tahria; Calafell, Francesc; Benhamamouch, Soraya; Comas, David

    2015-01-01

    The demographic history of human populations in North Africa has been characterized by complex processes of admixture and isolation that have modeled its current gene pool. Diverse genetic ancestral components with different origins (autochthonous, European, Middle Eastern, and sub-Saharan) and genetic heterogeneity in the region have been described. In this complex genetic landscape, Algeria, the largest country in Africa, has been poorly covered, with most of the studies using a single Algerian sample. In order to evaluate the genetic heterogeneity of Algeria, Y-chromosome, mtDNA and autosomal genome-wide makers have been analyzed in several Berber- and Arab-speaking groups. Our results show that the genetic heterogeneity found in Algeria is not correlated with geography or linguistics, challenging the idea of Berber groups being genetically isolated and Arab groups open to gene flow. In addition, we have found that external sources of gene flow into North Africa have been carried more often by females than males, while the North African autochthonous component is more frequent in paternally transmitted genome regions. Our results highlight the different demographic history revealed by different markers and urge to be cautious when deriving general conclusions from partial genomic information or from single samples as representatives of the total population of a region. PMID:26402429

  6. Human Research Program (HRP) Overview

    NASA Video Gallery

    The Human Research Program (HRP) is a major part of the Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications Division within the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD). ...

  7. Population Genomics and the Statistical Values of Race: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Biological Classification of Human Populations and Implications for Clinical Genetic Epidemiological Research.

    PubMed

    Maglo, Koffi N; Mersha, Tesfaye B; Martin, Lisa J

    2016-01-01

    The biological status and biomedical significance of the concept of race as applied to humans continue to be contentious issues despite the use of advanced statistical and clustering methods to determine continental ancestry. It is thus imperative for researchers to understand the limitations as well as potential uses of the concept of race in biology and biomedicine. This paper deals with the theoretical assumptions behind cluster analysis in human population genomics. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, it demonstrates that the hypothesis that attributes the clustering of human populations to "frictional" effects of landform barriers at continental boundaries is empirically incoherent. It then contrasts the scientific status of the "cluster" and "cline" constructs in human population genomics, and shows how cluster may be instrumentally produced. It also shows how statistical values of race vindicate Darwin's argument that race is evolutionarily meaningless. Finally, the paper explains why, due to spatiotemporal parameters, evolutionary forces, and socio-cultural factors influencing population structure, continental ancestry may be pragmatically relevant to global and public health genomics. Overall, this work demonstrates that, from a biological systematic and evolutionary taxonomical perspective, human races/continental groups or clusters have no natural meaning or objective biological reality. In fact, the utility of racial categorizations in research and in clinics can be explained by spatiotemporal parameters, socio-cultural factors, and evolutionary forces affecting disease causation and treatment response. PMID:26925096

  8. Population Genomics and the Statistical Values of Race: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Biological Classification of Human Populations and Implications for Clinical Genetic Epidemiological Research

    PubMed Central

    Maglo, Koffi N.; Mersha, Tesfaye B.; Martin, Lisa J.

    2016-01-01

    The biological status and biomedical significance of the concept of race as applied to humans continue to be contentious issues despite the use of advanced statistical and clustering methods to determine continental ancestry. It is thus imperative for researchers to understand the limitations as well as potential uses of the concept of race in biology and biomedicine. This paper deals with the theoretical assumptions behind cluster analysis in human population genomics. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, it demonstrates that the hypothesis that attributes the clustering of human populations to “frictional” effects of landform barriers at continental boundaries is empirically incoherent. It then contrasts the scientific status of the “cluster” and “cline” constructs in human population genomics, and shows how cluster may be instrumentally produced. It also shows how statistical values of race vindicate Darwin's argument that race is evolutionarily meaningless. Finally, the paper explains why, due to spatiotemporal parameters, evolutionary forces, and socio-cultural factors influencing population structure, continental ancestry may be pragmatically relevant to global and public health genomics. Overall, this work demonstrates that, from a biological systematic and evolutionary taxonomical perspective, human races/continental groups or clusters have no natural meaning or objective biological reality. In fact, the utility of racial categorizations in research and in clinics can be explained by spatiotemporal parameters, socio-cultural factors, and evolutionary forces affecting disease causation and treatment response. PMID:26925096

  9. Helicopter human factors research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nagel, David C.; Hart, Sandra G.

    1988-01-01

    Helicopter flight is among the most demanding of all human-machine integrations. The inherent manual control complexities of rotorcraft are made even more challenging by the small margin for error created in certain operations, such as nap-of-the-Earth (NOE) flight, by the proximity of the terrain. Accident data recount numerous examples of unintended conflict between helicopters and terrain and attest to the perceptual and control difficulties associated with low altitude flight tasks. Ames Research Center, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate, has initiated an ambitious research program aimed at increasing safety margins for both civilian and military rotorcraft operations. The program is broad, fundamental, and focused on the development of scientific understandings and technological countermeasures. Research being conducted in several areas is reviewed: workload assessment, prediction, and measure validation; development of advanced displays and effective pilot/automation interfaces; identification of visual cues necessary for low-level, low-visibility flight and modeling of visual flight-path control; and pilot training.

  10. Genetic and Molecular Ecotoxicology: A Research Framework

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Susan; Sadinski, Walter; Shugart, Lee; Brussard, Peter; Depledge, Michael; Ford, Tim; Hose, JoEllen; Stegeman, John; Suk, William; Wirgin, Isaac; Wogan, Gerald

    1994-01-01

    Participants at the Napa Conference on Genetic and Molecular Ecotoxicology assessed the status of this field in light of heightened concerns about the genetic effects of exposure to hazardous substances and recent advancements in our capabilities to measure those effects. We present here a synthesis of the ideas discussed throughout the conference, including definitions of important concepts in the field and critical research needs and opportunities. While there were many opinions expressed on these topics, there was general agreement that there are substantive new opportunities to improve the impact of genetic and molecular ecotoxicology on prediction of sublethal effects of exposure to hazardous substances. Future studies should emphasize integration of genetic ecotoxicology, ecological genetics, and molecular biology and should be directed toward improving our understanding of the ecological implications of genotoxic responses. Ecological implications may be assessed at either the population or ecosystem level; however, a population-level focus may be most pragmatic. Recent technical advancements in measuring genetic and molecular responses to toxicant exposure will spur rapid progress. These new techniques have considerable promise for increasing our understanding of both mechanisms of toxicity on genes or gene products and the relevance of detrimental effects to individual fitness. — Environ Health Perspect 102(Suppl 12):3–8 (1994) PMID:7713030

  11. A model agreement for genetic research in socially identifiable populations.

    PubMed

    Foster, M W; Bernsten, D; Carter, T H

    1998-09-01

    Genetic research increasingly focuses on population-specific human genetic diversity. However, the naming of a human population in public databases and scientific publications entails collective risks for its members. Those collective risks can be evaluated and protections can be put in place by the establishment of a dialogue with the subject population, before a research study is initiated. Here we describe an agreement to undertake genetic research with a Native American tribe. We identified the culturally appropriate public and private social units within which community members are accustomed to make decisions about health. We then engaged those units in a process of communal discourse. In their discourses about our proposed study, community members expressed most concern about culturally specific implications. We also found that, in this population, private social units were more influential in communal decision making than were public authorities. An agreement was reached that defined the scope of research, provided options for naming the population in publications (including anonymity), and addressed the distribution of royalties from intellectual property, the future use of archival samples, and specific cultural concerns. We found that informed consent by individuals could not fully address these collective issues. This approach may serve as a general model for the undertaking of population-specific genetic studies. PMID:9718343

  12. A global reference for human genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Auton, Adam; Brooks, Lisa D; Durbin, Richard M; Garrison, Erik P; Kang, Hyun Min; Korbel, Jan O; Marchini, Jonathan L; McCarthy, Shane; McVean, Gil A; Abecasis, Gonçalo R

    2015-10-01

    The 1000 Genomes Project set out to provide a comprehensive description of common human genetic variation by applying whole-genome sequencing to a diverse set of individuals from multiple populations. Here we report completion of the project, having reconstructed the genomes of 2,504 individuals from 26 populations using a combination of low-coverage whole-genome sequencing, deep exome sequencing, and dense microarray genotyping. We characterized a broad spectrum of genetic variation, in total over 88 million variants (84.7 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 3.6 million short insertions/deletions (indels), and 60,000 structural variants), all phased onto high-quality haplotypes. This resource includes >99% of SNP variants with a frequency of >1% for a variety of ancestries. We describe the distribution of genetic variation across the global sample, and discuss the implications for common disease studies. PMID:26432245

  13. A global reference for human genetic variation

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The 1000 Genomes Project set out to provide a comprehensive description of common human genetic variation by applying whole-genome sequencing to a diverse set of individuals from multiple populations. Here we report completion of the project, having reconstructed the genomes of 2,504 individuals from 26 populations using a combination of low-coverage whole-genome sequencing, deep exome sequencing, and dense microarray genotyping. We characterized a broad spectrum of genetic variation, in total over 88 million variants (84.7 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 3.6 million short insertions/deletions (indels), and 60,000 structural variants), all phased onto high-quality haplotypes. This resource includes >99% of SNP variants with a frequency of >1% for a variety of ancestries. We describe the distribution of genetic variation across the global sample, and discuss the implications for common disease studies. PMID:26432245

  14. Classical and Molecular Genetic Research on General Cognitive Ability.

    PubMed

    McGue, Matt; Gottesman, Irving I

    2015-01-01

    Arguably, no psychological variable has received more attention from behavioral geneticists than what has been called "general cognitive ability" (as well as "general intelligence" or "g"), and for good reason. GCA has a rich correlational network, implying that it may play an important role in multiple domains of functioning. GCA is highly correlated with various indicators of educational attainment, yet its predictive utility is not limited to academic achievement. It is also correlated with work performance, navigating the complexities of everyday life, the absence of various social pathologies (such as criminal convictions), and even health and mortality. Although the causal basis for these associations is not always known, it is nonetheless the case that research on GCA has the potential to provide insights into the origins of a wide range of important social outcomes. In this essay, our discussion of why GCA is considered a fundamentally important dimension of behavior on which humans differ is followed by a look at behavioral genetics research on CGA. We summarize behavioral genetics research that has sought to identify and quantify the total contributions of genetic and environmental factors to individual differences in GCA as well as molecular genetic research that has sought to identify genetic variants that underlie inherited effects. PMID:26413945

  15. Human subjects research handbook: Protecting human research subjects. Second edition

    SciTech Connect

    1996-01-30

    This handbook serves as a guide to understanding and implementing the Federal regulations and US DOE Orders established to protect human research subjects. Material in this handbook is directed towards new and continuing institutional review board (IRB) members, researchers, institutional administrators, DOE officials, and others who may be involved or interested in human subjects research. It offers comprehensive overview of the various requirements, procedures, and issues relating to human subject research today.

  16. New Directions in Science Teaching: Human Genetics Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mertens, Thomas R.

    1983-01-01

    The range, complexity, and rapid increase of controversial knowledge about human genetics require that students be taught the biomedical facts and ethical dilemmas. Human genetics education thus provides an excellent opportunity for increasing scientific literacy generally. (PB)

  17. Human Genetic Engineering: A Survey of Student Value Stances

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Sara McCormack; And Others

    1975-01-01

    Assesses the values of high school and college students relative to human genetic engineering and recommends that biology educators explore instructional strategies merging human genetic information with value clarification techniques. (LS)

  18. Genetic research in autism spectrum disorders

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Elise B.; Neale, Benjamin M.; Hyman, Steven E.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose of review The recent explosion of genetic findings in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research has improved knowledge of the disorder's underlying biology and etiologic architecture. This review introduces concepts and results from recent genetic studies and discusses the manner in which those findings can influence the trajectory of ASD research. Recent findings Large consortium studies have associated ASDs with many types of genetic risk factors, including common polygenic risk, de novo single nucleotide variants, copy number variants, and rare inherited variants. In aggregate, these results confirm the heterogeneity and complexity of ASDs. The rare variant findings in particular point to genes and pathways that begin to bridge the gap between behavior and biology. Summary Genetic studies have the potential to identify the biological underpinnings of ASDs and other neuropsychiatric disorders. The data they generate are already being used to examine disease pathways and pathogenesis. The results also speak to ASD heterogeneity and, in the future, may be used to stratify research studies and treatment trials. PMID:26371945

  19. Functional Analysis of the Human Genome:. Study of Genetic Disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsui, Lap-Chee

    2003-04-01

    I will divide my remarks into 3 parts. First, I will give a brief summary of the Human Genome Project. Second, I will describe our work on human chromosome 7 to illustrate how we could contribute to the Project and disease research. Third, I would like to bring across the argument that study of genetic disease is an integral component of the Human Genome Project. In particular, I will use cystic fibrosis as an example to elaborate why I consider disease study is a part of functional genomics.

  20. Genetic Basis of Human Circadian Rhythm Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Christopher R.; Huang, Angela L.; Ptáček, Louis J.; Fu, Ying-Hui

    2012-01-01

    Circadian rhythm disorders constitute a group of phenotypes that usually present as altered sleep-wake schedules. Until a human genetics approach was applied to investigate these traits, the genetic components regulating human circadian rhythm and sleep behaviors remained mysterious. Steady advances in the last decade have dramatically improved our understanding of the genes involved in circadian rhythmicity and sleep regulation. Finding these genes presents new opportunities to use a wide range of approaches, including in vitro molecular studies and in vivo animal modeling, to elevate our understanding of how sleep and circadian rhythms are regulated and maintained. Ultimately, this knowledge will reveal how circadian and sleep disruption contribute to various ailments and shed light on how best to maintain and recover good health. PMID:22849821

  1. Gene Conversion in Human Genetic Disease

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jian-Min; Férec, Claude; Cooper, David N.

    2010-01-01

    Gene conversion is a specific type of homologous recombination that involves the unidirectional transfer of genetic material from a ‘donor’ sequence to a highly homologous ‘acceptor’. We have recently reviewed the molecular mechanisms underlying gene conversion, explored the key part that this process has played in fashioning extant human genes, and performed a meta-analysis of gene-conversion events known to have caused human genetic disease. Here we shall briefly summarize some of the latest developments in the study of pathogenic gene conversion events, including (i) the emerging idea of minimal efficient sequence homology (MESH) for homologous recombination, (ii) the local DNA sequence features that appear to predispose to gene conversion, (iii) a mechanistic comparison of gene conversion and transient hypermutability, and (iv) recently reported examples of pathogenic gene conversion events. PMID:24710102

  2. Advances in gene technology: Human genetic disorders

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, W.A.; Ahmad, F.; Black, S.; Schultz, J.; Whelan, W.J.

    1984-01-01

    This book discusses the papers presented at the conference on the subject of ''advances in Gene technology: Human genetic disorders''. Molecular biology of various carcinomas and inheritance of metabolic diseases is discussed and technology advancement in diagnosis of hereditary diseases is described. Some of the titles discussed are-Immunoglobulin genes translocation and diagnosis; hemophilia; oncogenes; oncogenic transformations; experimental data on mice, hamsters, birds carcinomas and sarcomas.

  3. Patenting human genetic material: refocusing the debate

    PubMed Central

    Caulfield, Timothy; Gold, E. Richard; Cho, Mildred K.

    2008-01-01

    The biotechnology industry has become firmly established over the past twenty years and gene patents have played an important part in this phenomenon. However, concerns have been raised over the patentability of human genetic material, through public protests and international statements, but to little effect. Here we discuss some of these concerns, the patent authorities’ response to them, and ways in which to address these issues and to move the debate forward using current legal structures. PMID:11252752

  4. DNA diagnosis of human genetic individuality.

    PubMed

    Pena, S D; Prado, V F; Epplen, J T

    1995-11-01

    DNA studies of the human genome have shown polymorphic variation at thousands of sites, defining an absolute genetic uniqueness for each individual. There are many circumstances in which it may be desirable to diagnose this molecular individuality, as for instance, in criminal investigations or paternity testing. Several techniques can be used for this DNA diagnosis and we can choose among them the one that best suits the specific problem at hand. In this review we describe the main methodologies in current use to investigate human DNA polymorphisms, discussing the best application of each option, as well as their advantages and disadvantages. PMID:8751139

  5. Genetics Research Discovered in a Bestseller | Poster

    Cancer.gov

    By Nancy Parrish, Staff Writer One morning in early January, Amar Klar sat down at his computer and found an e-mail with a curious message from a colleague. While reading a bestselling novel, The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, his colleague, a professor at Princeton University, found a description of research on yeast genetics that was surprisingly similar to Klar’s early research. Even the laboratory in the novel was reminiscent of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where Klar had conducted his research.

  6. Models to explore genetics of human aging.

    PubMed

    Karasik, David; Newman, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Genetic studies have bestowed insight into the biological mechanisms underlying inter-individual differences in susceptibility to (or resistance to) organisms’ aging. Recent advances in molecular and genetic epidemiology provide tools to explore the genetic sources of the variability in biological aging in humans. To be successful, the genetic study of a complex condition such as aging requires the clear definition of essential traits that can characterize the aging process phenotypically. Phenotypes of human aging have long relied on mortality rate or exceptional longevity. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been shown to present an unbiased approach to the identification of new candidate genes for human diseases. The GWAS approach can also be used for positive health phenotypes such as longevity or a delay in age-related chronic disease, as well as for other age related changes such as loss of telomere length or lens transparency. Sequencing, either in targeted regions or across the whole genome can further identify rare variation that may contribute to the biological aging mechanisms. To date, the results of the GWAS for longevity are rather disappointing, possibly in part due to the small number of individuals with GWAS data who have reached advanced old age.Human aging phenotypes are needed that can be assessed prior to death, and should be both heritable and validated as predictors of longevity. Potentially, phenotypes that focus on “successful” or “healthy” aging will be more powerful as they can be measured in large numbers of people and also are clinically relevant.We postulate that construction of an integrated phenotype of aging can be achieved capitalizing on multiple traits that may have weak correlations, but a shared underlying genetic architecture. This is based on a hypothesis that convergent results from multiple individual aging-related traits will point out the pleiotropic signals responsible for the overall rate of aging of

  7. Genetic Analysis of Human Preimplantation Embryos.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Herrero, S; Cervero, A; Mateu, E; Mir, P; Póo, M E; Rodrigo, L; Vera, M; Rubio, C

    2016-01-01

    Preimplantation development comprises the initial stages of mammalian development, before the embryo implants into the mother's uterus. In normal conditions, after fertilization the embryo grows until reaching blastocyst stage. The blastocyst grows as the cells divide and the cavity expands, until it arrives at the uterus, where it "hatches" from the zona pellucida to implant into the uterine wall. Nevertheless, embryo quality and viability can be affected by chromosomal abnormalities, most of which occur during gametogenesis and early embryo development; human embryos produced in vitro are especially vulnerable. Therefore, the selection of chromosomally normal embryos for transfer in assisted reproduction can improve outcomes in poor-prognosis patients. Additionally, in couples with an inherited disorder, early diagnosis could prevent pregnancy with an affected child and would, thereby, avoid the therapeutic interruption of pregnancy. These concerns have prompted advancements in the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Genetic testing is applied in two different scenarios: in couples with an inherited genetic disorder or carriers of a structural chromosomal abnormality, it is termed PGD; in infertile couples with increased risk of generating embryos with de novo chromosome abnormalities, it is termed preimplantation genetic screening, or PGS. PMID:27475859

  8. Offering Individual Genetic Research Results: Context Matters

    PubMed Central

    Beskow, Laura M.; Burke, Wylie

    2011-01-01

    The disclosure of individual genetic research results to participants continues to be the subject of vigorous debate, centered primarily on the nature of the results: What are the criteria for the kinds of information that should, could, or should not be offered? There are widely diverging views about how to define these categories, as reasonable people can disagree about the value of various kinds of information. Data concerning participant preferences regarding receipt of results are important, but not determinative of researchers’ fundamental obligations. We suggest that research context is a vital consideration that has not been sufficiently incorporated into the discussion. We adapt an ancillary care framework to explore what different contexts might call for with regard to offering individual genetic research results. Our analysis suggests that, beyond exceptionally rare circumstances that give rise to a duty to rescue, a “one size fits all” threshold cannot be developed for decisions about return of individual results. Instead, researchers and IRBs must consider the scope of entrustment involved in the research, the intensity and duration of interactions with participants, and the vulnerability and dependence of the study population. The strength of this approach is that research context is foreseeable at the time a study is designed. Assessments of the nature and value of the information may still be required to decide whether to offer a particular result, but perhaps will be facilitated by a more grounded understanding of researchers’ obligations in different contexts. PMID:20592417

  9. [Network Research on Human Papillomavirus].

    PubMed

    Almeida-Gutiérrez, Eduardo; Paniagua, Ramón; Furuya, María ElenaYuriko

    2015-01-01

    In order to increase the research in important health questions at a national and institutional levels, the Human Papillomavirus Research Network of the Health Research Coordination of the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social offers this supplement with the purpose of assisting patients that daily look for attention due to the human papillomavirus or to cervical cancer. PMID:26462505

  10. Variobox: automatic detection and annotation of human genetic variants.

    PubMed

    Gaspar, Paulo; Lopes, Pedro; Oliveira, Jorge; Santos, Rosário; Dalgleish, Raymond; Oliveira, José Luís

    2014-02-01

    Triggered by the sequencing of the human genome, personalized medicine has been one of the fastest growing research areas in the last decade. Multiple software and hardware technologies have been developed by several projects, culminating in the exponential growth of genetic data. Considering the technological developments in this field, it is now fairly easy and inexpensive to obtain genetic profiles for unique individuals, such as those performed by several genetic analysis companies. The availability of computational tools that simplify genetic data analysis and the disclosure of biomedical evidences are of utmost importance. We present Variobox, a desktop tool to annotate, analyze, and compare human genes. Variobox obtains variant annotation data from WAVe, protein metadata annotations from Protein Data Bank, and sequences are obtained from Locus Reference Genomic or RefSeq databases. To explore the data, Variobox provides an advanced sequence visualization that enables agile navigation through genetic regions. DNA sequencing data can be compared with reference sequences retrieved from LRG or RefSeq records, identifying and automatically annotating new potential variants. These features and data, ranging from patient sequences to HGVS-compliant variant descriptions, are combined in an intuitive interface to analyze genes and variants. Variobox is a Java application, available at http://bioinformatics.ua.pt/variobox. PMID:24186831

  11. Human genetic disorders of sphingolipid biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Astudillo, Leonardo; Sabourdy, Frédérique; Therville, Nicole; Bode, Heiko; Ségui, Bruno; Andrieu-Abadie, Nathalie; Hornemann, Thorsten; Levade, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    Monogenic defects of sphingolipid biosynthesis have been recently identified in human patients. These enzyme deficiencies affect the synthesis of sphingolipid precursors, ceramides or complex glycosphingolipids. They are transmitted as autosomal recessive or dominant traits, and their resulting phenotypes often replicate the abnormalities seen in murine models deficient for the corresponding enzymes. In quite good agreement with the known critical roles of sphingolipids in cells from the nervous system and the epidermis, these genetic defects clinically manifest as neurological disorders, including paraplegia, epilepsy or peripheral neuropathies, or present with ichthyosis. The present review summarizes the genetic alterations, biochemical changes and clinical symptoms of this new group of inherited metabolic disorders. Hypotheses regarding the molecular pathophysiology and potential treatments of these diseases are also discussed. PMID:25141825

  12. Basic Science Research and the Protection of Human Research Participants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eiseman, Elisa

    2001-03-01

    Technological advances in basic biological research have been instrumental in recent biomedical discoveries, such as in the understanding and treatment of cancer, HIV/AIDS, and heart disease. However, many of these advances also raise several new ethical challenges. For example, genetic research may pose no physical risk beyond that of obtaining the initial blood sample, yet it can pose significant psychological and economic risks to research participants, such as stigmatization, discrimination in insurance and employment, invasion of privacy, or breach of confidentiality. These harms may occur even when investigators do not directly interact with the person whose DNA they are studying. Moreover, this type of basic research also raises broader questions, such as what is the definition of a human subject, and what kinds of expertise do Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) need to review the increasingly diverse types of research made possible by these advances in technology. The National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC), a presidentially appointed federal advisory committee, has addressed these and other ethical, scientific and policy issues that arise in basic science research involving human participants. Two of its six reports, in particular, have proposed recommendations in this regard. "Research Involving Human Biological Materials: Ethical and Policy Guidance" addresses the basic research use of human tissues, cells and DNA and the protection of human participants in this type of research. In "Ethical and Policy Issues in the Oversight of Human Research" NBAC proposes a definition of research involving human participants that would apply to all scientific disciplines, including physical, biological, and social sciences, as well as the humanities and related professions, such as business and law. Both of these reports make it clear that the protection of research participants is key to conducting ethically sound research. By ensuring that all participants in

  13. Human Research Program Requirements Document. Human Research Program Revision E

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vargas, Paul

    2011-01-01

    This document defines, documents, and allocates the Human Research Program (HRP) requirements to the HRP Program Elements. It also establishes the flow of requirements from the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) and the Office of the Chief Health and Medical Officer (OCHMO) down to the various HRP Program Elements to ensure that human research and technology countermeasure investments support the delivery of countermeasures and technologies that satisfy HEOMD's and OCHMO's exploration mission requirements.

  14. Applications of Genetic Programming in Cancer Research

    PubMed Central

    Worzel, William P.; Yu, Jianjun; Almal, Arpit A.; Chinnaiyan, Arul M.

    2012-01-01

    The theory of Darwinian evolution is the fundamental keystones of modern biology. Late in the last century, computer scientists began adapting its principles, in particular natural selection, to complex computational challenges, leading to the emergence of evolutionary algorithms. The conceptual model of selective pressure and recombination in evolutionary algorithms allows scientists to efficiently search high dimensional space for solutions to complex problems. In the last decade, genetic programming has been developed and extensively applied for analysis of molecular data to classify cancer subtypes and characterize the mechanisms of cancer pathogenesis and development. This article reviews current successes using genetic programming and discusses its potential impact in cancer research and treatment in the near future. PMID:18929677

  15. Genetically Encoded Voltage Indicators in Circulation Research

    PubMed Central

    Kaestner, Lars; Tian, Qinghai; Kaiser, Elisabeth; Xian, Wenying; Müller, Andreas; Oberhofer, Martin; Ruppenthal, Sandra; Sinnecker, Daniel; Tsutsui, Hidekazu; Miyawaki, Atsushi; Moretti, Alessandra; Lipp, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Membrane potentials display the cellular status of non-excitable cells and mediate communication between excitable cells via action potentials. The use of genetically encoded biosensors employing fluorescent proteins allows a non-invasive biocompatible way to read out the membrane potential in cardiac myocytes and other cells of the circulation system. Although the approaches to design such biosensors date back to the time when the first fluorescent-protein based Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) sensors were constructed, it took 15 years before reliable sensors became readily available. Here, we review different developments of genetically encoded membrane potential sensors. Furthermore, it is shown how such sensors can be used in pharmacological screening applications as well as in circulation related basic biomedical research. Potentials and limitations will be discussed and perspectives of possible future developments will be provided. PMID:26370981

  16. Genetics of multifactorial disorders: proceedings of the 6th Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference.

    PubMed

    Nair, Pratibha; Bizzari, Sami; Rajah, Nirmal; Assaf, Nada; Al-Ali, Mahmoud Taleb; Hamzeh, Abdul Rezzak

    2016-01-01

    The 6th Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference (PAHGC), "Genetics of Multifactorial Disorders" was organized by the Center for Arab Genomic Studies (http://www.cags.org.ae) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from 21 to 23 January, 2016. The PAHGCs are held biennially to provide a common platform to bring together regional and international geneticists to share their knowledge and to discuss common issues. Over 800 delegates attended the first 2 days of the conference and these came from various medical and scientific backgrounds. They consisted of geneticists, molecular biologists, medical practitioners, postdoctoral researchers, technical staff (e.g., nurses and lab technicians) and medical students from 35 countries around the world. On the 3rd day, a one-day workshop on "Genetic Counseling" was delivered to 26 participants. The conference focused on four major topics, namely, diabetes, genetics of neurodevelopmental disorders, congenital anomalies and cancer genetics. Personalized medicine was a recurrent theme in most of the research presented at the conference, as was the application of novel molecular findings in clinical settings. This report discusses a summary of the presentations from the meeting. PMID:27095177

  17. A New BSCS Project: Human Genetics Education for High School.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biological Sciences Curriculum Study Journal, 1980

    1980-01-01

    Described is the BSCS Center for Education in Human and Medical Genetics, established to design, develop, and evaluate an instructional module in human genetics for high school students. This module will be a self-contained curricular program and will provide individualized open-ended experiences which present basic genetics content in the context…

  18. Attitudes towards the use of genetically modified animals in research.

    PubMed

    Schuppli, Catherine A; Weary, Daniel M

    2010-11-01

    Here we provide the first experimental evidence that public concerns about the use of animals in research are accentuated when genetically modified (GM) animals are used. Using an online survey, we probed participant views on two uses of pigs as research animals (to reduce agricultural pollution or to improve organ transplant success in humans) with and without GM. We surveyed 327 animal technicians, researchers, advocates, university students and others. In both scenarios and across demographics, support dropped off when the research required the use of GM pigs or GM corn. For example, 66% of participants supported using pigs to reduce phosphorus pollution, but this declined to 49% when the pigs were fed GM corn and to 20% when the research required the creation of a new GM line of pigs. Those involved in animal research were more consistently supportive compared to those who were not or those who were vegetarians. PMID:21560543

  19. Protecting Subjects’ Interests in Genetics Research

    PubMed Central

    Merz, Jon F.; Magnus, David; Cho, Mildred K.; Caplan, Arthur L.

    2002-01-01

    Biomedical researchers often assume that sponsors, subjects, families, and disease-associated advocacy groups contribute to research solely because of altruism. This view fails to capture the diverse interests of many participants in the emerging research enterprise. In the past two decades, patient groups have become increasingly active in the promotion and facilitation of genetics research. Simultaneously, a significant shift of academic biomedical science toward commercialization has occurred, spurred by U.S. federal policy changes. The concurrent rise in both the roles that subjects play and the commercial interests they have presents numerous ethical challenges. We examine the interests of different research participants, finding that these interests are not addressed by current policies and practices. We conclude that all participants should be given a voice in decisions affecting ownership, access to, and use of commercialized products and services, and that researchers and institutions should negotiate issues relating to control of research results and the sharing of benefits before the research is performed. PMID:11870592

  20. Genetic basis of human left-right asymmetry disorders.

    PubMed

    Deng, Hao; Xia, Hong; Deng, Sheng

    2015-01-01

    Humans and other vertebrates exhibit left-right (LR) asymmetric arrangement of the internal organs, and failure to establish normal LR asymmetry leads to internal laterality disorders, including situs inversus and heterotaxy. Situs inversus is complete mirror-imaged arrangement of the internal organs along LR axis, whereas heterotaxy is abnormal arrangement of the internal thoraco-abdominal organs across LR axis of the body, most of which are associated with complex cardiovascular malformations. Both disorders are genetically heterogeneous with reduced penetrance, presumably because of monogenic, polygenic or multifactorial causes. Research in genetics of LR asymmetry disorders has been extremely prolific over the past 17 years, and a series of loci and disease genes involved in situs inversus and heterotaxy have been described. The review highlights the classification, chromosomal abnormalities, pathogenic genes and the possible mechanism of human LR asymmetry disorders. PMID:26258520

  1. Parents' Perspectives on Participating in Genetic Research in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trottier, Magan; Roberts, Wendy; Drmic, Irene; Scherer, Stephen W.; Weksberg, Rosanna; Cytrynbaum, Cheryl; Chitayat, David; Shuman, Cheryl; Miller, Fiona A.

    2013-01-01

    Genetic research in autism depends on the willingness of individuals with autism to participate; thus, there is a duty to assess participants' needs in the research process. We report on families' motives and expectations related to their participation in autism genetic research. Respondents valued having a genetic result, as it alleviates guilt,…

  2. Community dissemination and genetic research: moving beyond results reporting.

    PubMed

    Trinidad, Susan Brown; Ludman, Evette J; Hopkins, Scarlett; James, Rosalina D; Hoeft, Theresa J; Kinegak, Annie; Lupie, Henry; Kinegak, Ralph; Boyer, Bert B; Burke, Wylie

    2015-07-01

    The community-based participatory research (CBPR) literature notes that researchers should share study results with communities. In the case of human genetic research, results may be scientifically interesting but lack clinical relevance. The goals of this study were to learn what kinds of information community members want to receive about genetic research and how such information should be conveyed. We conducted eight focus group discussions with Yup'ik Alaska Native people in southwest Alaska (N = 60) and 6 (N = 61) with members of a large health maintenance organization in Seattle, Washington. Participants wanted to receive genetic information they "could do something about" and wanted clinically actionable information to be shared with their healthcare providers; they also wanted researchers to share knowledge about other topics of importance to the community. Although Alaska Native participants were generally less familiar with western scientific terms and less interested in web-based information sources, the main findings were the same in Alaska and Seattle: participants wished for ongoing dialogue, including opportunities for informal, small-group conversations, and receiving information that had local relevance. Effective community dissemination is more than a matter of presenting study results in lay language. Community members should be involved in both defining culturally appropriate communication strategies and in determining which information should be shared. Reframing dissemination as a two-way dialogue, rather than a one-way broadcast, supports the twin aims of advancing scientific knowledge and achieving community benefit. PMID:25900516

  3. Genetics of human sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cleaver, James E.

    1994-07-01

    the major human health effects of solar and artificial UV light occur from the UVB and UVC wavelength ranges and involve a variety of short-term and long-term deleterious changes to the skin and eyes. the more important initial damage to cellular macromolecules involves dimerization of adjacent pyrimidines in DNA to produce cyclobutane pyrimidine dimes, (6-4) pyrimidine- pyrimidone, and (6-4) dewar photoproducts. these photoproducts can be repaired by a genetically regulated enzyme system (nucleotide excision repair) which removes oligonucleotides 29-30 nucleotides long that contain the photoproducts, and synthesizes replacement patches. At least a dozen gene products are involved in the process of recognizing photoproducts in DNA, altering local DNA helicity and cleaving the polynucleotide chain at defined positions either side of a photoproduct. Hereditary mutations in many of these genes are recognized in the human genetic disorders xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), Cockayne syndrome (CS), and trichothiodystrophy (TTD). Several of the gene products have other functions involving the regulation of gene transcription which accounts for the complex clinical presentation of repair deficient diseases that involve sensitivity of the skin and eyes to UV light, increased solar carcinogenesis (in XP), demyelination, and ganglial calcification (in CS), hair abnormalities (in TTD), and developmental and neurological abnormalities

  4. Genetic regulation of human brain development: lessons from Mendelian diseases

    PubMed Central

    Dixon-Salazar, Tracy J.; Gleeson, Joseph G.

    2016-01-01

    One of the fundamental goals in human genetics is to link gene function to phenotype, yet the function of the majority of the genes in the human body is still poorly understood. This is especially true for the developing human brain. The study of human phenotypes that result from inherited, mutated alleles is the most direct evidence for the requirement of a gene in human physiology. Thus, the study of Mendelian central nervous system(CNS) diseases can be an extremely powerful approach to elucidate such phenotypic/genotypic links and to increase our understanding of the key components required for development of the human brain. In this review, we highlight examples of how the study of inherited neurodevelopmental disorders contributes to our knowledge of both the “normal” and diseased human brain, as well as elaborate on the future of this type of research. Mendelian disease research has been, and will continue to be, key to understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie human brain function, and will ultimately form a basis for the design of intelligent, mechanism-specific treatments for nervous system disorders. PMID:21062301

  5. Genetics of the dentofacial variation in human malocclusion

    PubMed Central

    Moreno Uribe, L. M.; Miller, S. F.

    2015-01-01

    Malocclusions affect individuals worldwide, resulting in compromised function and esthetics. Understanding the etiological factors contributing to the variation in dentofacial morphology associated with malocclusions is the key to develop novel treatment approaches. Advances in dentofacial phenotyping, which is the comprehensive characterization of hard and soft tissue variation in the craniofacial complex, together with the acquisition of large-scale genomic data have started to unravel genetic mechanisms underlying facial variation. Knowledge on the genetics of human malocclusion is limited even though results attained thus far are encouraging, with promising opportunities for future research. This review summarizes the most common dentofacial variations associated with malocclusions and reviews the current knowledge of the roles of genes in the development of malocclusions. Lastly, this review will describe ways to advance malocclusion research, following examples from the expanding fields of phenomics and genomic medicine, which aim to better patient outcomes. PMID:25865537

  6. Molecular and genetic inflammation networks in major human diseases.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yongzhong; Forst, Christian V; Sayegh, Camil E; Wang, I-Ming; Yang, Xia; Zhang, Bin

    2016-07-19

    It has been well-recognized that inflammation alongside tissue repair and damage maintaining tissue homeostasis determines the initiation and progression of complex diseases. Albeit with the accomplishment of having captured the most critical inflammation-involved molecules, genetic susceptibilities, epigenetic factors, and environmental factors, our schemata on the role of inflammation in complex diseases remain largely patchy, in part due to the success of reductionism in terms of research methodology per se. Omics data alongside the advances in data integration technologies have enabled reconstruction of molecular and genetic inflammation networks which shed light on the underlying pathophysiology of complex diseases or clinical conditions. Given the proven beneficial role of anti-inflammation in coronary heart disease as well as other complex diseases and immunotherapy as a revolutionary transition in oncology, it becomes timely to review our current understanding of the molecular and genetic inflammation networks underlying major human diseases. In this review, we first briefly discuss the complexity of infectious diseases and then highlight recently uncovered molecular and genetic inflammation networks in other major human diseases including obesity, type II diabetes, coronary heart disease, late onset Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and sporadic cancer. The commonality and specificity of these molecular networks are addressed in the context of genetics based on genome-wide association study (GWAS). The double-sword role of inflammation, such as how the aberrant type 1 and/or type 2 immunity leads to chronic and severe clinical conditions, remains open in terms of the inflammasome and the core inflammatome network features. Increasingly available large Omics and clinical data in tandem with systems biology approaches have offered an exciting yet challenging opportunity toward reconstruction of more comprehensive and dynamic molecular and genetic

  7. Mouse Genetic Models of Human Brain Disorders.

    PubMed

    Leung, Celeste; Jia, Zhengping

    2016-01-01

    Over the past three decades, genetic manipulations in mice have been used in neuroscience as a major approach to investigate the in vivo function of genes and their alterations. In particular, gene targeting techniques using embryonic stem cells have revolutionized the field of mammalian genetics and have been at the forefront in the generation of numerous mouse models of human brain disorders. In this review, we will first examine childhood developmental disorders such as autism, intellectual disability, Fragile X syndrome, and Williams-Beuren syndrome. We will then explore psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and lastly, neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. We will outline the creation of these mouse models that range from single gene deletions, subtle point mutations to multi-gene manipulations, and discuss the key behavioral phenotypes of these mice. Ultimately, the analysis of the models outlined in this review will enhance our understanding of the in vivo role and underlying mechanisms of disease-related genes in both normal brain function and brain disorders, and provide potential therapeutic targets and strategies to prevent and treat these diseases. PMID:27047540

  8. Mouse Genetic Models of Human Brain Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Celeste; Jia, Zhengping

    2016-01-01

    Over the past three decades, genetic manipulations in mice have been used in neuroscience as a major approach to investigate the in vivo function of genes and their alterations. In particular, gene targeting techniques using embryonic stem cells have revolutionized the field of mammalian genetics and have been at the forefront in the generation of numerous mouse models of human brain disorders. In this review, we will first examine childhood developmental disorders such as autism, intellectual disability, Fragile X syndrome, and Williams-Beuren syndrome. We will then explore psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and lastly, neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. We will outline the creation of these mouse models that range from single gene deletions, subtle point mutations to multi-gene manipulations, and discuss the key behavioral phenotypes of these mice. Ultimately, the analysis of the models outlined in this review will enhance our understanding of the in vivo role and underlying mechanisms of disease-related genes in both normal brain function and brain disorders, and provide potential therapeutic targets and strategies to prevent and treat these diseases. PMID:27047540

  9. Biological databases for human research.

    PubMed

    Zou, Dong; Ma, Lina; Yu, Jun; Zhang, Zhang

    2015-02-01

    The completion of the Human Genome Project lays a foundation for systematically studying the human genome from evolutionary history to precision medicine against diseases. With the explosive growth of biological data, there is an increasing number of biological databases that have been developed in aid of human-related research. Here we present a collection of human-related biological databases and provide a mini-review by classifying them into different categories according to their data types. As human-related databases continue to grow not only in count but also in volume, challenges are ahead in big data storage, processing, exchange and curation. PMID:25712261

  10. Biological Databases for Human Research

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Dong; Ma, Lina; Yu, Jun; Zhang, Zhang

    2015-01-01

    The completion of the Human Genome Project lays a foundation for systematically studying the human genome from evolutionary history to precision medicine against diseases. With the explosive growth of biological data, there is an increasing number of biological databases that have been developed in aid of human-related research. Here we present a collection of human-related biological databases and provide a mini-review by classifying them into different categories according to their data types. As human-related databases continue to grow not only in count but also in volume, challenges are ahead in big data storage, processing, exchange and curation. PMID:25712261

  11. Human Research Program Requirements Document

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rieger, Gabe

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this document is to define, document, and allocate the Human Research Program (HRP) requirements to the HRP Program elements. It establishes the flow-down of requirements from Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) and Office of the Chief Health and Medical Officer (OCHMO) to the various Program Elements of the HRP to ensure that human research and technology countermeasure investments are made to insure the delivery of countermeasures and technologies that satisfy ESMD s and OCHMO's exploration mission requirements.

  12. Human Research Initiative (HRI)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Motil, Brian

    2003-01-01

    A code U initiative starting in the FY04 budget includes specific funding for 'Phase Change' and 'Multiphase Flow Research' on the ISS. NASA GRC developed a concept for two facilities based on funding/schedule constraints: 1) Two Phase Flow Facility (TphiFFy) which assumes integrating into FIR; 2) Contact Line Dynamics Experiment Facility (CLiDE) which assumes integration into MSG. Each facility will accommodate multiple experiments conducted by NRA selected PIs with an overall goal of enabling specific NASA strategic objectives. There may also be a significant ground-based component.

  13. Psychological Research on Human Aggressiveness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamburg, D. A.; Brodie, H. K. H.

    1973-01-01

    Discusses research relating to the effects of hormones, neurophysiology, and the environment on animal and human aggression. Indicates that the interactions of biological, psychological and social processes in the development of human aggressiveness should constitute one of the principal frontiers for science in the next two decades. (JR)

  14. Darkness in El Dorado: human genetics on trial.

    PubMed

    Morton, N E

    2001-04-01

    A recent book by a freelance journalist makes major accusations against genetic studies by J. V. Neel in the Amazon a generation ago. Contrary to these charges, there was no connection of Neel's work with human experiments conducted by the Rochester Manhattan project twenty years earlier, nor did the studies serve as a control for survivors of the atomic bombs in Japan. Neel was not a eugenicist. His program of measles vaccination reduced mortality, and was not in any sense an experiment. Given the passage of time and lack of supporting evidence, further investigation of these charges is pointless. However, the political climate in which human populations are studied has changed dramatically over the last generation. Unless guidelines reflect an international consensus, the benefits of population studies to human welfare and science will be jeopardized. The World Health Organization guidelines should be extended to cover current research. PMID:11910124

  15. The New World of Human Genetics: A dialogue between Practitioners & the General Public on Ethical, Legal & Social Implications of the Human Genome Project

    SciTech Connect

    Schofield, Amy

    2014-12-08

    The history and reasons for launching the Human Genome project and the current uses of genetic human material; Identifying and discussing the major issues stemming directly from genetic research and therapy-including genetic discrimination, medical/ person privacy, allocation of government resources and individual finances, and the effect on the way in which we perceive the value of human life; Discussing the sometimes hidden ethical, social and legislative implications of genetic research and therapy such as informed consent, screening and preservation of genetic materials, efficacy of medical procedures, the role of the government, and equal access to medical coverage.

  16. Drawing the line on genetic intervention in humans.

    PubMed

    Kaura, D R

    1996-03-15

    Because the science of genetics can have such profound effects on medicine and mankind, society must define the characteristics of a moral framework within which to make decisions about genetic issues. University of Manitoba medical student Deepak Kaura, who claimed third prize in CMAJ's 1995 Logie Medical Ethics Essay Contest, examines the ethics of genetic intervention in humans. PMID:8634976

  17. Drawing the line on genetic intervention in humans.

    PubMed Central

    Kaura, D R

    1996-01-01

    Because the science of genetics can have such profound effects on medicine and mankind, society must define the characteristics of a moral framework within which to make decisions about genetic issues. University of Manitoba medical student Deepak Kaura, who claimed third prize in CMAJ's 1995 Logie Medical Ethics Essay Contest, examines the ethics of genetic intervention in humans. Images p928-a PMID:8634976

  18. Current Progress of Genetically Engineered Pig Models for Biomedical Research

    PubMed Central

    Gün, Gökhan

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The first transgenic pigs were generated for agricultural purposes about three decades ago. Since then, the micromanipulation techniques of pig oocytes and embryos expanded from pronuclear injection of foreign DNA to somatic cell nuclear transfer, intracytoplasmic sperm injection-mediated gene transfer, lentiviral transduction, and cytoplasmic injection. Mechanistically, the passive transgenesis approach based on random integration of foreign DNA was developed to active genetic engineering techniques based on the transient activity of ectopic enzymes, such as transposases, recombinases, and programmable nucleases. Whole-genome sequencing and annotation of advanced genome maps of the pig complemented these developments. The full implementation of these tools promises to immensely increase the efficiency and, in parallel, to reduce the costs for the generation of genetically engineered pigs. Today, the major application of genetically engineered pigs is found in the field of biomedical disease modeling. It is anticipated that genetically engineered pigs will increasingly be used in biomedical research, since this model shows several similarities to humans with regard to physiology, metabolism, genome organization, pathology, and aging. PMID:25469311

  19. Genetic and environmental factors in human cleft lip and palate.

    PubMed

    Vieira, Alexandre R

    2012-01-01

    Cleft lip and palate is the most common craniofacial birth defect and its etiology has been the focus of many reports in the literature. It is well accepted that both genetics and environment play a role in the condition, however we still have not been able to translate what have been learned into clinical applications. This paper provides an interpretation of the latest research findings in humans and a perspective for where the field is going. The latest effort in gene identification and the associations between isolated cleft lip and palate and the loci harboring IRF6 (1q32) and 8q24.21 are highlighted, as well as the latest insight from more sophisticated phenotypical characterization and the inclusion of covariables related to the environment in the analysis of genetic variation. PMID:22759667

  20. Genetically modified plants and human health

    PubMed Central

    Key, Suzie; Ma, Julian K-C; Drake, Pascal MW

    2008-01-01

    Summary Genetically modified (or GM) plants have attracted a large amount of media attention in recent years and continue to do so. Despite this, the general public remains largely unaware of what a GM plant actually is or what advantages and disadvantages the technology has to offer, particularly with regard to the range of applications for which they can be used. From the first generation of GM crops, two main areas of concern have emerged, namely risk to the environment and risk to human health. As GM plants are gradually being introduced into the European Union there is likely to be increasing public concern regarding potential health issues. Although it is now commonplace for the press to adopt ‘health campaigns’, the information they publish is often unreliable and unrepresentative of the available scientific evidence. We consider it important that the medical profession should be aware of the state of the art, and, as they are often the first port of call for a concerned patient, be in a position to provide an informed opinion. This review will examine how GM plants may impact on human health both directly – through applications targeted at nutrition and enhancement of recombinant medicine production – but also indirectly, through potential effects on the environment. Finally, it will examine the most important opposition currently facing the worldwide adoption of this technology: public opinion. PMID:18515776

  1. Genetic and Fossil Evidence for the Origin of Modern Humans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stringer, C. B.; Andrews, P.

    1988-01-01

    Discusses how genetic data on present human population relationships and data from the Pleistocene fossil hominid record are being used to compare two contrasting models for the origin of modern humans. (TW)

  2. Scaling up: human genetics as a Cold War network.

    PubMed

    Lindee, Susan

    2014-09-01

    In this commentary I explore how the papers here illuminate the processes of collection that have been so central to the history of human genetics since 1945. The development of human population genetics in the Cold War period produced databases and biobanks that have endured into the present, and that continue to be used and debated. In the decades after the bomb, scientists collected and transferred human biological materials and information from populations of interest, and as they moved these biological resources or biosocial resources acquired new meanings and uses. The papers here collate these practices and map their desires and ironies. They explore how a large international network of geneticists, biological anthropologists, virologists and other physicians and scientists interacted with local informants, research subjects and public officials. They also track the networks and standards that mobilized the transfer of information, genealogies, tissue and blood samples. As Joanna Radin suggests here, the massive collections of human biological materials and data were often understood to be resources for an "as-yet-unknown" future. The stories told here contain elements of surveillance, extraction, salvage and eschatology. PMID:24954362

  3. TRENDS IN HUMAN RELATIONS RESEARCH.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    WINICK, CHARLES

    A REVIEW OF MAIN TRENDS IN RECENT HUMAN RELATIONS RESEARCH IN THE UNITED STATES, PARTICULARLY AS ILLUSTRATED IN THE WORK OF SIGMUND LIVINGSTON FELLOWS, IS PRESENTED. THE FOCUS IS ON STUDIES DEALING WITH ETHNIC, RACIAL, OR RELIGIOUS CATEGORIES, AND ON RESEARCH DEALING WITH INTERGROUP PREJUDICE AND DISCRIMINATION. THE THREE MAJOR TRENDS IN RESEARCH…

  4. Knowledge Gaining by Human Genetic Studies on Tuberculosis Susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Hui-Qi; Fisher-Hoch, Susan P; McCormick, Joseph B

    2011-01-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious health issue in the developing world. Lack of knowledge on the etiological mechanisms of TB hinders the development of effective strategies for the treatment or prevention of TB disease. Human genetic study is an indispensable approach to understand the molecular basis of common diseases. Numerous efforts were made to screen the human genome for TB susceptibility by linkage mapping. A large number of candidate-based association studies of TB were performed to examine the association of predicted functional DNA variations in candidate genes. Recently, the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) on TB was reported. The GWAS is a proof-of-principle evidence which justifies the genetic approach to understand TB. Further hypothesis-free efforts on TB research may renovate the traditional idea of TB genetic susceptibility as none of the candidate genes with important roles in containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection was identified of association with active TB, while the TB-associated loci in the GWAS harbors no gene with function in MTB infection. PMID:21179108

  5. Human Laboratory Paradigms in Alcohol Research

    PubMed Central

    Plebani, Jennifer G.; Ray, Lara A.; Morean, Meghan E.; Corbin, William R.; Mackillop, James; Amlung, Michael; King, Andrea C.

    2014-01-01

    Human laboratory studies have a long and rich history in the field of alcoholism. Human laboratory studies have allowed for advances in alcohol research in a variety of ways, including elucidating of the neurobehavioral mechanisms of risk, identifying phenotypically distinct sub-types of alcohol users, investigating of candidate genes underlying experimental phenotypes for alcoholism, and testing mechanisms of action of alcoholism pharmacotherapies on clinically-relevant translational phenotypes, such as persons exhibiting positive-like alcohol effects or alcohol craving. Importantly, the field of human laboratory studies in addiction has progressed rapidly over the past decade and has built upon earlier findings of alcohol's neuropharmacological effects to advancing translational research on alcoholism etiology and treatment. To that end, the new generation of human laboratory studies has focused on applying new methodologies, further refining alcoholism phenotypes, and translating these findings to studies of alcoholism genetics, medication development, and pharmacogenetics. The combination of experimental laboratory approaches with recent developments in neuroscience and pharmacology has been particularly fruitful in furthering our understanding of the impact of individual differences in alcoholism risk and in treatment response. This review of the literature focuses on human laboratory studies of subjective intoxication, alcohol craving, anxiety, and behavioral economics. Each section discusses opportunities for phenotype refinement under laboratory conditions, as well as its application to translational science of alcoholism. A summary and recommendations for future research are also provided. PMID:22309888

  6. Legal and ethical issues in psychiatric genetic research.

    PubMed

    Shore, D; Berg, K; Wynne, D; Folstein, M F

    1993-05-01

    Genetic research may uncover the causes of severe mental disorders, and many projects have been undertaken to locate the genes responsible for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer disease. A number of sensitive legal and ethical issues have been raised, including 1) protection of confidential data concerning research subjects; 2) the assessment of types and degree of risk to subjects who participate in such studies; 3) the legal and ethical acceptability of substituted judgement on behalf of patients who may not be competent to provide informed consent; and 4) the separation of research and clinical roles in areas such as genetic counseling. Federal regulations and other guidelines are of limited value in dealing with such concerns, and many important human subjects issues will need to be dealt with by the investigator, subject to approval by a local Institutional Review Board. There does seem to be general agreement that informed consent must be obtained, potential risks of research need to be minimized, and confidentiality of sensitive data must be protected. PMID:8357032

  7. Genetic Regulation of Pituitary Gland Development in Human and Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Kelberman, Daniel; Rizzoti, Karine; Lovell-Badge, Robin; Robinson, Iain C. A. F.; Dattani, Mehul T.

    2009-01-01

    Normal hypothalamopituitary development is closely related to that of the forebrain and is dependent upon a complex genetic cascade of transcription factors and signaling molecules that may be either intrinsic or extrinsic to the developing Rathke’s pouch. These factors dictate organ commitment, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation within the anterior pituitary. Abnormalities in these processes are associated with congenital hypopituitarism, a spectrum of disorders that includes syndromic disorders such as septo-optic dysplasia, combined pituitary hormone deficiencies, and isolated hormone deficiencies, of which the commonest is GH deficiency. The highly variable clinical phenotypes can now in part be explained due to research performed over the last 20 yr, based mainly on naturally occurring and transgenic animal models. Mutations in genes encoding both signaling molecules and transcription factors have been implicated in the etiology of hypopituitarism, with or without other syndromic features, in mice and humans. To date, mutations in known genes account for a small proportion of cases of hypopituitarism in humans. However, these mutations have led to a greater understanding of the genetic interactions that lead to normal pituitary development. This review attempts to describe the complexity of pituitary development in the rodent, with particular emphasis on those factors that, when mutated, are associated with hypopituitarism in humans. PMID:19837867

  8. Inferences of Recent and Ancient Human Population History Using Genetic and Non-Genetic Data

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kitchen, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    I have adopted complementary approaches to inferring human demographic history utilizing human and non-human genetic data as well as cultural data. These complementary approaches form an interdisciplinary perspective that allows one to make inferences of human history at varying timescales, from the events that occurred tens of thousands of years…

  9. Ethical issues arising from the participation of children in genetic research.

    PubMed

    Burke, Wylie; Diekema, Douglas S

    2006-07-01

    With new tools derived from the Human Genome Project, genetic research is expanding from the study of rare, single gene disorders to the evaluation of genetic contributors to common, complex diseases. Many genetic studies include pediatric participants. The ethical concerns related to pediatric participation in genetic research derive from the study designs commonly employed in gene discovery and from the power accorded to genetic prediction in our society. In both family-based studies and large studies combining genetic and other health-related data, special attention should be placed on recruitment procedures, informed consent, and confidentiality protections. If data repositories are created for long-term use, we recommend re-consent of pediatric participants when they reach adulthood. In addition, the potential for disclosure of individual results should be considered as part of the institutional review of genetic studies, taking into account the validity of research data and the potential that such data could be used in health care. The potential for genetic results to pose harms of personal and group stigma is also a consideration. Because genetic information is often accorded special power in our society, careful attention should be paid to how genetic information is collected and used in research involving pediatric participants. PMID:16829241

  10. Genetic Changes Shaping the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Bae, Byoung-il; Jayaraman, Divya; Walsh, Christopher A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary The development and function of our brain are governed by a genetic blueprint, which reflects dynamic changes over the history of evolution. Recent progress in genetics and genomics, facilitated by next-generation sequencing and single-cell sorting, has identified numerous genomic loci that are associated with a neuroanatomical or neurobehavioral phenotype. Here, we review some of the genetic changes in both protein-coding and noncoding regions that affect brain development and evolution, as well as recent progress in brain transcriptomics. Understanding these genetic changes may provide novel insights into neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia. PMID:25710529

  11. Seeking perfection: a Kantian look at human genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Gunderson, Martin

    2007-01-01

    It is tempting to argue that Kantian moral philosophy justifies prohibiting both human germ-line genetic engineering and non-therapeutic genetic engineering because they fail to respect human dignity. There are, however, good reasons for resisting this temptation. In fact, Kant's moral philosophy provides reasons that support genetic engineering-even germ-line and non-therapeutic. This is true of Kant's imperfect duties to seek one's own perfection and the happiness of others. It is also true of the categorical imperative. Kant's moral philosophy does, however, provide limits to justifiable genetic engineering. PMID:17516148

  12. Genetics/Genomics Research in the Central Region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    U.S. Geological Survey

    2006-01-01

    Genetics-based research within the Biological Resources Discipline (BRD) Science Centers in the Central Region incorporates many aspects of the field of genetics. Research activities range from documenting patterns of genetic variation in order to investigate relationships among species, populations and individuals to investigating the structure, function and expression of genes and their response to environmental stressors. Research in the broad areas of genetics requires multidisciplinary expertise and specialized equipment and instrumentation. Brief summaries of the capabilities of the five BRD Centers are given below.

  13. 76 FR 17930 - National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-31

    ... HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed... privacy. Name of Committee: National Human Genome Research Institute Special Emphasis Panel; Genetic... Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, 5635 Fishers Lane, Suite 4076, MSC 9306, Rockville,...

  14. Genetic network properties of the human cortex based on regional thickness and surface area measures

    PubMed Central

    Docherty, Anna R.; Sawyers, Chelsea K.; Panizzon, Matthew S.; Neale, Michael C.; Eyler, Lisa T.; Fennema-Notestine, Christine; Franz, Carol E.; Chen, Chi-Hua; McEvoy, Linda K.; Verhulst, Brad; Tsuang, Ming T.; Kremen, William S.

    2015-01-01

    We examined network properties of genetic covariance between average cortical thickness (CT) and surface area (SA) within genetically-identified cortical parcellations that we previously derived from human cortical genetic maps using vertex-wise fuzzy clustering analysis with high spatial resolution. There were 24 hierarchical parcellations based on vertex-wise CT and 24 based on vertex-wise SA expansion/contraction; in both cases the 12 parcellations per hemisphere were largely symmetrical. We utilized three techniques—biometrical genetic modeling, cluster analysis, and graph theory—to examine genetic relationships and network properties within and between the 48 parcellation measures. Biometrical modeling indicated significant shared genetic covariance between size of several of the genetic parcellations. Cluster analysis suggested small distinct groupings of genetic covariance; networks highlighted several significant negative and positive genetic correlations between bilateral parcellations. Graph theoretical analysis suggested that small world, but not rich club, network properties may characterize the genetic relationships between these regional size measures. These findings suggest that cortical genetic parcellations exhibit short characteristic path lengths across a broad network of connections. This property may be protective against network failure. In contrast, previous research with structural data has observed strong rich club properties with tightly interconnected hub networks. Future studies of these genetic networks might provide powerful phenotypes for genetic studies of normal and pathological brain development, aging, and function. PMID:26347632

  15. [Advance in molecular genetic research on primary congenital glaucoma].

    PubMed

    Li, Xiulan; Liu, Haotian; Zhang, Dingding

    2016-04-01

    Primary congenital glaucoma (PCG) is one of the major diseases causing blindness in children, but its pathogenesis has remained unclear. Genetic factors play an important role in the pathogenesis of PCG. Molecular genetics of candidate genes such as CYP1B1, MYOC, LTBP2 and FOXC1 has so far been explored, but no disease-causing gene has been identified. Molecular genetic research on PCG including candidate gene screening and research strategies are reviewed here. PMID:27060330

  16. [Constant or break? On the relations between human genetics and eugenics in the Twentieth Century].

    PubMed

    Germann, Pascal

    2015-07-01

    The history of human genetics has been a neglected topic in history of science and medicine for a long time. Only recently, have medical historians begun to pay more attention to the history of human heredity. An important research question deals with the interconnections between human genetics and eugenics. This paper addresses this question: By focusing on a Swiss case study, the investigation of the heredity of goiter, I will argue that there existed close but also ambiguous relations between heredity research and eugenics in the twentieth century. Studies on human heredity often produced evidence that challenged eugenic aims and ideas. Concurrently, however, these studies fostered visions of genetic improvement of human populations. PMID:26111842

  17. An examination of chimpanzee use in human cancer research.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Jarrod

    2009-09-01

    Advocates of chimpanzee research claim the genetic similarity of humans and chimpanzees make them an indispensable research tool to combat human diseases. Given that cancer is a leading cause of human death worldwide, one might expect that if chimpanzees were needed for, or were productive in, cancer research, then they would have been widely used. This comprehensive literature analysis reveals that chimpanzees have scarcely been used in any form of cancer research, and that chimpanzee tumours are extremely rare and biologically different from human cancers. Often, chimpanzee citations described peripheral use of chimpanzee cells and genetic material in predominantly human genomic studies. Papers describing potential new cancer therapies noted significant concerns regarding the chimpanzee model. Other studies described interventions that have not been pursued clinically. Finally, available evidence indicates that chimpanzees are not essential in the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. It would therefore be unscientific to claim that chimpanzees are vital to cancer research. On the contrary, it is reasonable to conclude that cancer research would not suffer, if the use of chimpanzees for this purpose were prohibited in the US. Genetic differences between humans and chimpanzees, make them an unsuitable model for cancer, as well as other human diseases. PMID:19807212

  18. Genetic Engineering of Plants. Agricultural Research Opportunities and Policy Concerns.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Leslie

    Plant scientists and science policymakers from government, private companies, and universities met at a convocation on the genetic engineering of plants. During the convocation, researchers described some of the ways genetic engineering may be used to address agricultural problems. Policymakers delineated and debated changes in research funding…

  19. Beyond race: towards a whole-genome perspective on human populations and genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Foster, Morris W; Sharp, Richard R

    2004-10-01

    The renewed emphasis on population-specific genetic variation, exemplified most prominently by the International HapMap Project, is complicated by a longstanding, uncritical reliance on existing population categories in genetic research. Race and other pre-existing population definitions (ethnicity, religion, language, nationality, culture and so on) tend to be contentious concepts that have polarized discussions about the ethics and science of research into population-specific human genetic variation. By contrast, a broader consideration of the multiple historical sources of genetic variation provides a whole-genome perspective on the ways i n which existing population definitions do, and do not, account for how genetic variation is distributed among individuals. Although genetics will continue to rely on analytical tools that make use of particular population histories, it is important to interpret findings in a broader genomic context. PMID:15510170

  20. RESEARCH ON GENETIC SEXING AND POPULATION GENETICS OF SCREWWORM AT LINCOLN, NEBRASKA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The following technical abstract refers to an invited oral presentation given at the IAEA/FAO sponsored Consultants Meeting on Genetic Sexing and Population Genetics of the Screwworm, August 2000. Responsibility for screwworm research at the USDA-ARS-Midwest Livestock Insects Research Unit (MLIRU) ...

  1. Reflections on the Field of Human Genetics: A Call for Increased Disease Genetics Theory

    PubMed Central

    Schrodi, Steven J.

    2016-01-01

    Development of human genetics theoretical models and the integration of those models with experiment and statistical evaluation are critical for scientific progress. This perspective argues that increased effort in disease genetics theory, complementing experimental, and statistical efforts, will escalate the unraveling of molecular etiologies of complex diseases. In particular, the development of new, realistic disease genetics models will help elucidate complex disease pathogenesis, and the predicted patterns in genetic data made by these models will enable the concurrent, more comprehensive statistical testing of multiple aspects of disease genetics predictions, thereby better identifying disease loci. By theoretical human genetics, I intend to encompass all investigations devoted to modeling the heritable architecture underlying disease traits and studies of the resulting principles and dynamics of such models. Hence, the scope of theoretical disease genetics work includes construction and analysis of models describing how disease-predisposing alleles (1) arise, (2) are transmitted across families and populations, and (3) interact with other risk and protective alleles across both the genome and environmental factors to produce disease states. Theoretical work improves insight into viable genetic models of diseases consistent with empirical results from linkage, transmission, and association studies as well as population genetics. Furthermore, understanding the patterns of genetic data expected under realistic disease models will enable more powerful approaches to discover disease-predisposing alleles and additional heritable factors important in common diseases. In spite of the pivotal role of disease genetics theory, such investigation is not particularly vibrant. PMID:27375680

  2. Reflections on the Field of Human Genetics: A Call for Increased Disease Genetics Theory.

    PubMed

    Schrodi, Steven J

    2016-01-01

    Development of human genetics theoretical models and the integration of those models with experiment and statistical evaluation are critical for scientific progress. This perspective argues that increased effort in disease genetics theory, complementing experimental, and statistical efforts, will escalate the unraveling of molecular etiologies of complex diseases. In particular, the development of new, realistic disease genetics models will help elucidate complex disease pathogenesis, and the predicted patterns in genetic data made by these models will enable the concurrent, more comprehensive statistical testing of multiple aspects of disease genetics predictions, thereby better identifying disease loci. By theoretical human genetics, I intend to encompass all investigations devoted to modeling the heritable architecture underlying disease traits and studies of the resulting principles and dynamics of such models. Hence, the scope of theoretical disease genetics work includes construction and analysis of models describing how disease-predisposing alleles (1) arise, (2) are transmitted across families and populations, and (3) interact with other risk and protective alleles across both the genome and environmental factors to produce disease states. Theoretical work improves insight into viable genetic models of diseases consistent with empirical results from linkage, transmission, and association studies as well as population genetics. Furthermore, understanding the patterns of genetic data expected under realistic disease models will enable more powerful approaches to discover disease-predisposing alleles and additional heritable factors important in common diseases. In spite of the pivotal role of disease genetics theory, such investigation is not particularly vibrant. PMID:27375680

  3. A drosophila genetic resource of mutants to study mechanisms underlying human genetic diseases.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Shinya; Jaiswal, Manish; Charng, Wu-Lin; Gambin, Tomasz; Karaca, Ender; Mirzaa, Ghayda; Wiszniewski, Wojciech; Sandoval, Hector; Haelterman, Nele A; Xiong, Bo; Zhang, Ke; Bayat, Vafa; David, Gabriela; Li, Tongchao; Chen, Kuchuan; Gala, Upasana; Harel, Tamar; Pehlivan, Davut; Penney, Samantha; Vissers, Lisenka E L M; de Ligt, Joep; Jhangiani, Shalini N; Xie, Yajing; Tsang, Stephen H; Parman, Yesim; Sivaci, Merve; Battaloglu, Esra; Muzny, Donna; Wan, Ying-Wooi; Liu, Zhandong; Lin-Moore, Alexander T; Clark, Robin D; Curry, Cynthia J; Link, Nichole; Schulze, Karen L; Boerwinkle, Eric; Dobyns, William B; Allikmets, Rando; Gibbs, Richard A; Chen, Rui; Lupski, James R; Wangler, Michael F; Bellen, Hugo J

    2014-09-25

    Invertebrate model systems are powerful tools for studying human disease owing to their genetic tractability and ease of screening. We conducted a mosaic genetic screen of lethal mutations on the Drosophila X chromosome to identify genes required for the development, function, and maintenance of the nervous system. We identified 165 genes, most of whose function has not been studied in vivo. In parallel, we investigated rare variant alleles in 1,929 human exomes from families with unsolved Mendelian disease. Genes that are essential in flies and have multiple human homologs were found to be likely to be associated with human diseases. Merging the human data sets with the fly genes allowed us to identify disease-associated mutations in six families and to provide insights into microcephaly associated with brain dysgenesis. This bidirectional synergism between fly genetics and human genomics facilitates the functional annotation of evolutionarily conserved genes involved in human health. PMID:25259927

  4. A Drosophila genetic resource of mutants to study mechanisms underlying human genetic diseases

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto, Shinya; Jaiswal, Manish; Charng, Wu-Lin; Gambin, Tomasz; Karaca, Ender; Mirzaa, Ghayda; Wiszniewski, Wojciech; Sandoval, Hector; Haelterman, Nele A.; Xiong, Bo; Zhang, Ke; Bayat, Vafa; David, Gabriela; Li, Tongchao; Chen, Kuchuan; Gala, Upasana; Harel, Tamar; Pehlivan, Davut; Penney, Samantha; Vissers, Lisenka E. L. M.; de Ligt, Joep; Jhangiani, Shalini; Xie, Yajing; Tsang, Stephen H.; Parman, Yesim; Sivaci, Merve; Battaloglu, Esra; Muzny, Donna; Wan, Ying-Wooi; Liu, Zhandong; Lin-Moore, Alexander T.; Clark, Robin D.; Curry, Cynthia J.; Link, Nichole; Schulze, Karen L.; Boerwinkle, Eric; Dobyns, William B.; Allikmets, Rando; Gibbs, Richard A.; Chen, Rui; Lupski, James R.; Wangler, Michael F.; Bellen, Hugo J.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Invertebrate model systems are powerful tools for studying human disease owing to their genetic tractability and ease of screening. We conducted a mosaic genetic screen of lethal mutations on the Drosophila X-chromosome to identify genes required for the development, function, and maintenance of the nervous system. We identified 165 genes, most of whose function has not been studied in vivo. In parallel, we investigated rare variant alleles in 1,929 human exomes from families with unsolved Mendelian disease. Genes that are essential in flies and have multiple human homologs were found to be likely to be associated with human diseases. Merging the human datasets with the fly genes allowed us to identify disease-associated mutations in six families and to provide insights into microcephaly associated with brain dysgenesis. This bidirectional synergism between fly genetics and human genomics facilitates the functional annotation of evolutionarily conserved genes involved in human health. PMID:25259927

  5. Career research interests and training of genetic counseling students.

    PubMed

    Bedard, Angela C; Huether, Carl A; Shooner, Kerry; Buncher, C Ralph; Warren, Nancy Steinberg

    2007-10-01

    Research is important to validate clinical services, provide information on the effectiveness of practice techniques, and develop the knowledge base of a clinical profession. Genetic counseling students from American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) accredited training programs were surveyed to determine their career research interests and interest in pursuing a hypothetical doctoral degree in genetic counseling. Genetic counseling program directors were surveyed to assess the emphasis on research training within their programs. A substantial number (46%, n = 92) of genetic counseling students are interested in performing research in their careers and many (40%, n = 80) would pursue a doctoral degree in genetic counseling if it was available. Students and directors from programs with a thesis requirement reported a significantly higher emphasis on career research preparation than those from programs without a thesis requirement. The results of this study indicate that future genetic counselors are interested in contributing to the research base that will advance the field. This study suggests a need to strengthen research training within ABGC accredited graduate programs and explore the development of a doctoral degree option in genetic counseling. PMID:17674166

  6. Patenting genes and genetic research: good or bad for innovation?

    PubMed

    Arnold, Beth E; Ogielska-Zei, Eva

    2002-01-01

    Our goal with this article is to inform the debate over gene patenting, by providing an understanding of (a) the scope of patent claims that are actually being issued on genetic inventions in the United States, (b) the issues that impact their enforcement, and (c) the role that patents and patent licensing play in the commercialization of genetic technologies and products. We conclude by discussing whether the current legal regime effectively balances the beneficial role of patents in the development of new genetic technologies and products against negative impacts on genetic research or clinical genetic testing, or whether the current laws should be amended. PMID:12142363

  7. Lunar Human Research Requirements (LHRR)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Denkins, Pamela

    2009-01-01

    Biomedical research will be conducted during transit and on the surface of the Moon to prepare for extended stays on the Moon and to prepare for the exploration of Mars. The objective of the Human Research Program (HRP) is to preserve the health and enhance performance of astronaut explorers. Specific objectives of the HRP include developing the knowledge, capabilities, and necessary countermeasures and technologies in support of human space exploration; focusing on mitigating the highest risks to crew health and performance; and defining and improving human spaceflight medical, environmental, behavioral, and human factors standards. This document contains a detailed description of the resource accommodations, interfaces, and environments to be provided by the Constellation Program (CxP) to support the HRP research in transit and on the lunar surface. Covered, specifically, are the requirements for mass and volume transport; crew availability; ground operations, baseline data collection, and payload processing; power, and data. Volumes and mass are given for transport of conditioned samples only. They do not account for the engineering solution that the Constellation Program will implement (refrigerator/freezer volume/mass). This document does not account for requirements on the Orion vehicle for transportation to and from the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS Program has supplied requirements for this mission.

  8. Genetic knowledge and moral responsibility: ambiguity at the interface of genetic research and clinical practice.

    PubMed

    Pullman, D; Hodgkinson, K

    2006-03-01

    Despite a rapidly expanding literature on the issue of duty to warn at-risk relatives in the context of clinical genetic testing, little has been written on parallel issues with regard to the management of genetic research results. Some might view this lack as an indication that there is little to discuss in this regard. That is, standard practice is that data obtained through medical research should not be treated as though they are clinically relevant, and this standard should hold for genetic research as well. This paper challenges this conclusion and its underlying assumptions. We argue that the line between genetic research and clinical practice is often ambiguous. In some cases, research data gathered from a very small number of subjects could have immediate clinical implications. Hence, it is unethical for genetic researchers to absolve themselves of clinical responsibilities for research subjects and/or their families, on the grounds that the data were obtained for research purposes. Indeed, we argue that it could well be unethical to embark on some forms of genetic research unless advance arrangements have been made for genetic counseling and clinical follow-up. Furthermore, in some cases, it might be unethical to enroll subjects in studies if the subjects are unwilling to receive their individual results. PMID:16542381

  9. Ethical issues arising from human genetics.

    PubMed

    Arnold, A; Moseley, R

    1976-03-01

    Advances in understanding genetic disorders have been rapid in the last few years and with them the need and desire for genetic counselling have grown. Almost simultaneously, particularly in the USA, several large screening programmes have been initiated to screen large numbers of people who may be carriers of such deleterious genes as those of Tay-Sachs disease and sickle cell anaemia. The authors of this paper, clinical medical students at University College Hospital, London, spent some time studying the ethical issues raised. The first part of their study, which is not published here, relates to the biochemistry of certain genetic disorders, so leading up to the aspect of the subject which must concern readers of this journal, genetic counselling. At present genetic counselling is generally the province of the medical practitioner working with clinical biochemists, and in this paper their function is described and how programmes of screening for carriers are designed. Whether the subjects of the screening tests are found to be 'innocent' or 'guilty' psychological problems confront them, and of these the genetic counsellor must be aware. In fact the range of ethical problems raised by such counselling is wide and can only be sketched in this article. PMID:957367

  10. Commercial biobanks and genetic research: ethical and legal issues.

    PubMed

    Anderlik, Mary

    2003-01-01

    Human biological material is recognized as an important tool in research, and the demand for collections that combine samples and data is increasing. For-profit companies have assumed a leading role in assembling and managing these collections. The emergence of commercial biobanks has raised significant ethical and legal issues. The growing awareness of the importance of human biological material in research has been accompanied by a growing awareness of the deficiencies of existing archives of tissue. Commercial biobanks are attempting to position themselves as a, if not the, solution to problems that include a lack of public trust in researchers and lack of financial resources to support the prospective creation of collections that meet the highest scientific and ethical standards in the non-profit sector. Broad social and policy questions surrounding the operation of commercial biobanks have been raised however. International documents, in particular, suggest discomfort with the idea of gain from the mere transfer or exchange of human genetic material and information. Commercial involvement in the development of useful products from tissue is generally not condemned, so long as there is attention to scientific and social norms. Views on the acceptability of commercial biobanks vary. Specific issues that arise when commercial biobanks are permitted--in the areas of consent, recruitment, confidentiality, and accountability--are also relevant to the operation of public and private, non-profit biobanks. Although many uncertainties remain, consensus seems to be forming on a number of issues. For example, there appears to be agreement that blanket consent to future unspecified research uses, with no conditions, is unacceptable. Indeed, many of the leading commercial biobanks have been attentive to concerns about consent, recruitment, and confidentiality. Unfortunately, the binding nature of assurances in these areas is unclear, especially given the risk of insolvency

  11. Beliefs in genetic determinism and attitudes towards psychiatric genetic research: psychometric scale properties, construct associations, demographic correlates, and cross-cultural comparisons.

    PubMed

    Voracek, Martin; Swami, Viren; Loibl, Lisa Mariella; Furnham, Adrian

    2007-12-01

    Using two new scales, this study examined beliefs in genetic determinism and attitudes towards psychiatric genetic research in student samples from Austria, Malaysia, Romania, and the United Kingdom. For both constructs, effects of culture were detectable, whereas those related to key demographics were either small and inconsistent across samples (political orientation and religiosity) or zero (sex and age). Judged from factorial dimensionality and internal consistency, the psychometric properties of both scales were satisfactory. Belief in genetic determinism had lower prevalence and corresponded only modestly to positive attitudes towards psychiatric genetic research which had higher prevalence. The correlations of both constructs with a preference of inequality among social groups (social dominance orientation) were modest and inconsistent across samples. Both scales appear appropriate for cross-cultural applications, in particular for research into lay theories and public perceptions regarding genetic vs environmental effects on human behavior, mental disorders, and behavioral and psychiatric genetic research related to these. PMID:18232457

  12. Genetic Signatures of Exceptional Longevity in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Sebastiani, Paola; Solovieff, Nadia; DeWan, Andrew T.; Walsh, Kyle M.; Puca, Annibale; Hartley, Stephen W.; Melista, Efthymia; Andersen, Stacy; Dworkis, Daniel A.; Wilk, Jemma B.; Myers, Richard H.; Steinberg, Martin H.; Montano, Monty; Baldwin, Clinton T.; Hoh, Josephine; Perls, Thomas T.

    2012-01-01

    Like most complex phenotypes, exceptional longevity is thought to reflect a combined influence of environmental (e.g., lifestyle choices, where we live) and genetic factors. To explore the genetic contribution, we undertook a genome-wide association study of exceptional longevity in 801 centenarians (median age at death 104 years) and 914 genetically matched healthy controls. Using these data, we built a genetic model that includes 281 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and discriminated between cases and controls of the discovery set with 89% sensitivity and specificity, and with 58% specificity and 60% sensitivity in an independent cohort of 341 controls and 253 genetically matched nonagenarians and centenarians (median age 100 years). Consistent with the hypothesis that the genetic contribution is largest with the oldest ages, the sensitivity of the model increased in the independent cohort with older and older ages (71% to classify subjects with an age at death>102 and 85% to classify subjects with an age at death>105). For further validation, we applied the model to an additional, unmatched 60 centenarians (median age 107 years) resulting in 78% sensitivity, and 2863 unmatched controls with 61% specificity. The 281 SNPs include the SNP rs2075650 in TOMM40/APOE that reached irrefutable genome wide significance (posterior probability of association = 1) and replicated in the independent cohort. Removal of this SNP from the model reduced the accuracy by only 1%. Further in-silico analysis suggests that 90% of centenarians can be grouped into clusters characterized by different “genetic signatures” of varying predictive values for exceptional longevity. The correlation between 3 signatures and 3 different life spans was replicated in the combined replication sets. The different signatures may help dissect this complex phenotype into sub-phenotypes of exceptional longevity. PMID:22279548

  13. Metabolic thrift and the genetic basis of human obesity

    PubMed Central

    O’Rourke, Robert W.

    2014-01-01

    Evolution has molded metabolic thrift within humans, a genetic heritage that, when thrust into our modern “obesogenic” environment, creates the current obesity crisis. Modern genetic analysis has identified genetic and epigenetic contributors to obesity, an understanding of which will guide the development of environmental, pharmacologic, and genetic therapeutic interventions. “The voyage was so long, food and water ran out. One hundred of the paddlers died; forty men remained. The voyagers finally reached Fitinui, then Aotona.”-From “The Story of Aka”, in The Native Culture in the Marquesas by E. S. Craighill Handy PMID:24368636

  14. Involving study populations in the review of genetic research.

    PubMed

    Sharp, R R; Foster, M W

    2000-01-01

    Genetic research can present risks to all members of a study population, not just those who choose to participate in research. The authors suggest that community-based reviews of research protocols can help identify and minimize such research-related risks. PMID:11067631

  15. Ecological Genetics at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Travis, Steven

    2006-01-01

    The Ecological Genetics Program at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) employs state-of-the-art DNA fingerprinting technologies in characterizing critical management aspects of the population biology of species of concern. The overarching themes of this program have been (1) the critical role that genetic diversity plays in maintaining population viability and (2) how management strategies might incorporate genetic information in preventing the decline of desirable species or in controlling the spread of invasive species.

  16. Linking critical care nursing and genetics with research funding opportunities.

    PubMed

    Sigmon, H D

    1998-11-01

    The purpose of this article is threefold: to reveal how a disease that afflicts many critical care patients can be the impetus for forging into a research career; to illustrate a program of research undertaken by a nurse investigator to answer a critical care nursing question using genetic technology; and to identify exciting opportunities for research training, career development, and investigator-initiated research activities for the advanced practice critical care nurse at the National Institute of Nursing Research. The article concludes by identifying future linkages between nursing research and genetics. PMID:9855867

  17. The support of human genetic evidence for approved drug indications.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Matthew R; Tipney, Hannah; Painter, Jeffery L; Shen, Judong; Nicoletti, Paola; Shen, Yufeng; Floratos, Aris; Sham, Pak Chung; Li, Mulin Jun; Wang, Junwen; Cardon, Lon R; Whittaker, John C; Sanseau, Philippe

    2015-08-01

    Over a quarter of drugs that enter clinical development fail because they are ineffective. Growing insight into genes that influence human disease may affect how drug targets and indications are selected. However, there is little guidance about how much weight should be given to genetic evidence in making these key decisions. To answer this question, we investigated how well the current archive of genetic evidence predicts drug mechanisms. We found that, among well-studied indications, the proportion of drug mechanisms with direct genetic support increases significantly across the drug development pipeline, from 2.0% at the preclinical stage to 8.2% among mechanisms for approved drugs, and varies dramatically among disease areas. We estimate that selecting genetically supported targets could double the success rate in clinical development. Therefore, using the growing wealth of human genetic data to select the best targets and indications should have a measurable impact on the successful development of new drugs. PMID:26121088

  18. Massively parallel high-order combinatorial genetics in human cells

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Alan S L; Choi, Gigi C G; Cheng, Allen A; Purcell, Oliver; Lu, Timothy K

    2016-01-01

    The systematic functional analysis of combinatorial genetics has been limited by the throughput that can be achieved and the order of complexity that can be studied. To enable massively parallel characterization of genetic combinations in human cells, we developed a technology for rapid, scalable assembly of high-order barcoded combinatorial genetic libraries that can be quantified with high-throughput sequencing. We applied this technology, combinatorial genetics en masse (CombiGEM), to create high-coverage libraries of 1,521 two-wise and 51,770 three-wise barcoded combinations of 39 human microRNA (miRNA) precursors. We identified miRNA combinations that synergistically sensitize drug-resistant cancer cells to chemotherapy and/or inhibit cancer cell proliferation, providing insights into complex miRNA networks. More broadly, our method will enable high-throughput profiling of multifactorial genetic combinations that regulate phenotypes of relevance to biomedicine, biotechnology and basic science. PMID:26280411

  19. Yeast: A Research Organism for Teaching Genetics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manney, Thomas R.; Manney, Monta L.

    1992-01-01

    Explains why laboratory strains of bakers yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, are particularly suited for classroom science activities. Describes the sexual life cycle of yeast and the genetic system with visible mutations. Presents an overview of activities that can be done with yeast and gives a source for teachers to obtain more information. (PR)

  20. Crop genetic improvement for enhanced human nutrition.

    PubMed

    Toenniessen, Gary H

    2002-09-01

    In the past decade, micronutrient malnutrition has been identified as a major underlying cause of numerous human health problems in developing countries. The international agricultural research system has been highly successful in producing crop varieties with traits desired by farmers, such as higher yield and greater tolerance of poor growing conditions. These improved varieties have spread widely throughout developing countries and now provide the staple foods eaten daily by billions of people, including the poor in many difficult to reach rural areas. Modern plant breeding and biotechnology offer new opportunities to use this same international system to increase the micronutrient content and enhance the nutritional value of these staple foods. Over time, this could be an important complement to the progress that is being made in providing micronutrient supplements and fortified foods and in encouraging people to eat more diversified diets. Nutritionists and agriculturists will need to work together to define the deficiencies, target the right populations and deliver the right products. PMID:12221274

  1. 48 CFR 207.172 - Human research.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... compliance with 32 CFR Part 219, Protection of Human Subjects; and (b) Must have a Human Research Protection... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 3 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Human research. 207.172... OF DEFENSE ACQUISITION PLANNING ACQUISITION PLANNING Acquisition Plans 207.172 Human research. Any...

  2. 48 CFR 207.172 - Human research.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... compliance with 32 CFR Part 219, Protection of Human Subjects; and (b) Must have a Human Research Protection... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 3 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Human research. 207.172... OF DEFENSE ACQUISITION PLANNING ACQUISITION PLANNING Acquisition Plans 207.172 Human research. Any...

  3. 48 CFR 207.172 - Human research.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... compliance with 32 CFR Part 219, Protection of Human Subjects; and (b) Must have a Human Research Protection... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 3 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Human research. 207.172... OF DEFENSE ACQUISITION PLANNING ACQUISITION PLANNING Acquisition Plans 207.172 Human research. Any...

  4. 48 CFR 207.172 - Human research.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... compliance with 32 CFR Part 219, Protection of Human Subjects; and (b) Must have a Human Research Protection... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 3 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Human research. 207.172... OF DEFENSE ACQUISITION PLANNING ACQUISITION PLANNING Acquisition Plans 207.172 Human research. Any...

  5. 48 CFR 207.172 - Human research.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... compliance with 32 CFR Part 219, Protection of Human Subjects; and (b) Must have a Human Research Protection... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 3 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Human research. 207.172... OF DEFENSE ACQUISITION PLANNING ACQUISITION PLANNING Acquisition Plans 207.172 Human research. Any...

  6. Genetic Characterization of Human Populations: From ABO to a Genetic Map of the British People

    PubMed Central

    Bodmer, Walter

    2015-01-01

    From 1900, when Landsteiner first described the ABO blood groups, to the present, the methods used to characterize the genetics of human populations have undergone a remarkable development. Concomitantly, our understanding of the history and spread of human populations across the earth has become much more detailed. As has often been said, a better understanding of the genetic relationships among the peoples of the world is one of the best antidotes to racial prejudices. Such an understanding provides us with a fascinating, improved insight into our origins as well as with valuable information about population differences that are of medical relevance. The study of genetic polymorphisms has been essential to the analysis of the relationships between human populations. The evolution of methods used to study human polymorphisms and the resulting contributions to our understanding of human health and history is the subject of this Perspectives. PMID:25657345

  7. Socially responsible genetic research with descendants of the First Australians.

    PubMed

    van Holst Pellekaan, Sheila M

    2012-01-01

    Aboriginal Australians, one of the world's indigenous peoples now outnumbered through colonization, are the most under-represented in genetic research because they feel that the benefits do not outweigh the social cost of involvement. Descendants of the First Australians have survived a period of European occupation during which time they were dispossessed of land, language and cultural identity resulting in inequities in health, education, and employment opportunities. Compared to Maori and Native American peoples, the ability to form organizations that help to control their affairs is very recent. The desire to control is understandably strong yet the 'gate-keeping' role of some organizations risks shifting the control away from smaller communities and has become increasingly politicized. In the past, research practices by Western scientists were poorly presented and have resulted in resistance to proposals that are perceived to have no beneficial outcomes for participants. In this age of advanced technological expertise in genetics, benefits to all humanity are clear to those carrying out research projects, yet not always to those being asked to participate, presenting extra challenges. Excellent guidelines for ethical conduct in research are available to assist researchers, prospective participants, and ethics committees or review boards that approve and monitor procedures. The essence of these guidelines are that research should be carried out with a spirit of integrity, respect, reciprocity, parity, recognition of survival and protection of social and cultural values, a need for control and shared responsibility. Specific Aboriginal organizations, with which researchers need to work to negotiate partnerships, vary within and between Australian states and will always expect Aboriginal personnel to be involved. People experienced in the consultation process are necessary as part of a team. By working patiently through lengthy negotiations with Aboriginal

  8. Human Handedness: More Evidence for Genetic Involvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Longstreth, Langdon E.

    1980-01-01

    A series of environmental-genetical analyses of the left-handedness of 1,950 college students indicates that left-handedness is familial: it is more frequent in families in which at least one parent is left-handed. (Author/CM)

  9. Sub-Saharan centralized biorepository for genetic and genomic research.

    PubMed

    Gasmelseed, Nagla; Elsir, Afrah Awad; Deblasio, Pasquale; Biunno, Ida

    2012-04-15

    Quality-assessed biomedical samples are essential for academia- and industry driven research on human diseases. The etiologies and the molecular genetic factors relevant in African diseases, including both infections and complex degenerative diseases as well as cancer, need to be studied using well annotated and well-preserved biosamples acquired from native African ethnic groups and compare the results with non-African populations and/or with Afro-Americans. However, a number of difficulties negatively impact on the possibility to obtain clinically annotated biological samples in most Sub-Saharan African countries. This is mainly due to major organizational problems, lack of clinical centres that can dedicate resources to research, as well as lack of facilities in which biomaterials can be properly processed and safely stored. Harmonization of biosample acquisition, storage phenotyping schemes and biocomputer infrastructures are the principal objectives of biological resource centers (BRCs). BRCs comprise biobanks of different formats (collection of blood, DNA, tissues, etc., annotated with medical, environmental, life-style and follow up data) a fundamental tool for molecular epidemiological studies aiming to increase excellence and efficacy of biomedical results, drug development and public health. BRCs provide large and highly controlled biomolecular resources necessary to meet the "omics" scientific platforms. Sudan may be a candidate nation to host such infrastructure, in view of its strategic geographical position and the already existing simple biobanking experiences connected with research groups in Central Sudan. Here, we describe the potential role of biobanks in African genetic studies aiming to dissect the eziopathogenesis of complex diseases in relation to environmental and life-style factors. PMID:21303714

  10. A Developmental-Genetic Model of Alcoholism: Implications for Genetic Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Devor, Eric J.

    1994-01-01

    Research for biological-genetic markers of alcoholism is discussed in context of a multifactorial, heterogeneous, developmental model. Suggested that strategies used in linkage and association studies will require modification. Also suggested several extant associations of genetic markers represent true secondary interactive phenomena that alter…

  11. Estimating Sampling Selection Bias in Human Genetics: A Phenomenological Approach

    PubMed Central

    Risso, Davide; Taglioli, Luca; De Iasio, Sergio; Gueresi, Paola; Alfani, Guido; Nelli, Sergio; Rossi, Paolo; Paoli, Giorgio; Tofanelli, Sergio

    2015-01-01

    This research is the first empirical attempt to calculate the various components of the hidden bias associated with the sampling strategies routinely-used in human genetics, with special reference to surname-based strategies. We reconstructed surname distributions of 26 Italian communities with different demographic features across the last six centuries (years 1447–2001). The degree of overlapping between "reference founding core" distributions and the distributions obtained from sampling the present day communities by probabilistic and selective methods was quantified under different conditions and models. When taking into account only one individual per surname (low kinship model), the average discrepancy was 59.5%, with a peak of 84% by random sampling. When multiple individuals per surname were considered (high kinship model), the discrepancy decreased by 8–30% at the cost of a larger variance. Criteria aimed at maximizing locally-spread patrilineages and long-term residency appeared to be affected by recent gene flows much more than expected. Selection of the more frequent family names following low kinship criteria proved to be a suitable approach only for historically stable communities. In any other case true random sampling, despite its high variance, did not return more biased estimates than other selective methods. Our results indicate that the sampling of individuals bearing historically documented surnames (founders' method) should be applied, especially when studying the male-specific genome, to prevent an over-stratification of ancient and recent genetic components that heavily biases inferences and statistics. PMID:26452043

  12. Genetic Effects on Human Behavior: Recent Family Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scarr, Sandra

    Although there continues to be controversy about the magnitude of genetic and environmental effects on human behavior, it is generally agreed by various scientific fields that individual differences in brain function and behavior must follow the same laws of variability as other human characteristics. Whether or not racial and ethnic group…

  13. Two ethical approaches to research on human beings.

    PubMed

    O'Rourke, K D

    1988-10-01

    Since World War II the Catholic Church and national and international study groups have issued separate sets of statements regarding the ethics of research involving human subjects. The Church and the study groups agree on several points, including the following: Research on human subjects is a vital part of scientific medicine. Ethical research requires the informed consent of the subject or proxy. Research on human subjects is therapeutic or nontherapeutic. The risk of harm involved in research must be considered in regard to the potential benefit. Research on human beings should be allowed only after appropriate research on animals. Researchers should practice equity in selecting subjects and scientific problems to be studied. The human subject or proxy should be free to withdraw from the research program at any time. The two sets of statements generally disagree about nontherapeutic research on embryos and about genetic research. They also disagree on the use of in vitro fertilization and embryo transplants to initiate pregnancy. The disagreements are due to dissimilar ethical systems. The Church bases ethical analysis on a study of the effect an action has on basic human goods. As a result of this analysis, the Church maintains that some human actions are good or evil in themselves. If the action is evil insofar as the natural needs and functions of a person are concerned, it is not ethically good simply because it results in a good outcome.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:10290386

  14. Human longevity: Genetics or Lifestyle? It takes two to tango.

    PubMed

    Passarino, Giuseppe; De Rango, Francesco; Montesanto, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Healthy aging and longevity in humans are modulated by a lucky combination of genetic and non-genetic factors. Family studies demonstrated that about 25 % of the variation in human longevity is due to genetic factors. The search for genetic and molecular basis of aging has led to the identification of genes correlated with the maintenance of the cell and of its basic metabolism as the main genetic factors affecting the individual variation of the aging phenotype. In addition, studies on calorie restriction and on the variability of genes associated with nutrient-sensing signaling, have shown that ipocaloric diet and/or a genetically efficient metabolism of nutrients, can modulate lifespan by promoting an efficient maintenance of the cell and of the organism. Recently, epigenetic studies have shown that epigenetic modifications, modulated by both genetic background and lifestyle, are very sensitive to the aging process and can either be a biomarker of the quality of aging or influence the rate and the quality of aging. On the whole, current studies are showing that interventions modulating the interaction between genetic background and environment is essential to determine the individual chance to attain longevity. PMID:27053941

  15. The Evolution of Human Intelligence and the Coefficient of Additive Genetic Variance in Human Brain Size

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Geoffrey F.; Penke, Lars

    2007-01-01

    Most theories of human mental evolution assume that selection favored higher intelligence and larger brains, which should have reduced genetic variance in both. However, adult human intelligence remains highly heritable, and is genetically correlated with brain size. This conflict might be resolved by estimating the coefficient of additive genetic…

  16. The genetics of human cancer: implications for ecotoxicology.

    PubMed Central

    McMahon, G

    1994-01-01

    The study of human cancers has provided evidence that malignant progression is associated with genetic change. It has been suggested that some genetic alterations in tumors may be the result of direct or indirect processes related to environmental chemical exposure. This hypothesis has been supported by genetic evidence in liver tumors which has associated aflatoxin B1 exposure with the detection of inactivating DNA mutations within the human p53 tumor suppressor gene. The detection of activating ras oncogene mutations at high frequency in liver tumors of feral fish suggest that the survey of mutations in genes, such as p53 or other genes, might provide a genetic signature for specific chemical exposure in tissues of aquatic animals derived from environmentally damaged sites. PMID:7713039

  17. Human genetics of infectious diseases: a unified theory.

    PubMed

    Casanova, Jean-Laurent; Abel, Laurent

    2007-02-21

    Since the early 1950s, the dominant paradigm in the human genetics of infectious diseases postulates that rare monogenic immunodeficiencies confer vulnerability to multiple infectious diseases (one gene, multiple infections), whereas common infections are associated with the polygenic inheritance of multiple susceptibility genes (one infection, multiple genes). Recent studies, since 1996 in particular, have challenged this view. A newly recognised group of primary immunodeficiencies predisposing the individual to a principal or single type of infection is emerging. In parallel, several common infections have been shown to reflect the inheritance of one major susceptibility gene, at least in some populations. This novel causal relationship (one gene, one infection) blurs the distinction between patient-based Mendelian genetics and population-based complex genetics, and provides a unified conceptual frame for exploring the molecular genetic basis of infectious diseases in humans. PMID:17255931

  18. Human Factors Research and Nuclear Safety.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moray, Neville P., Ed.; Huey, Beverly M., Ed.

    The Panel on Human Factors Research Needs in Nuclear Regulatory Research was formed by the National Research Council in response to a request from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The NRC asked the research council to conduct an 18-month study of human factors research needs for the safe operation of nuclear power plants. This report…

  19. Publication Trends Over 55 Years of Behavioral Genetic Research.

    PubMed

    Ayorech, Ziada; Selzam, Saskia; Smith-Woolley, Emily; Knopik, Valerie S; Neiderhiser, Jenae M; DeFries, John C; Plomin, Robert

    2016-09-01

    We document the growth in published papers on behavioral genetics for 5-year intervals from 1960 through 2014. We used 1861 papers published in Behavior Genetics to train our search strategy which, when applied to Ovid PsychINFO, selected more than 45,000 publications. Five trends stand out: (1) the number of behavioral genetic publications has grown enormously; nearly 20,000 papers were published in 2010-2014. (2) The number of human quantitative genetic (QG) publications (e.g., twin and adoption studies) has steadily increased with more than 3000 papers published in 2010-2014. (3) The number of human molecular genetic (MG) publications increased substantially from about 2000 in 2000-2004 to 5000 in 2005-2009 to 9000 in 2010-2014. (4) Nonhuman publications yielded similar trends. (5) Although there has been exponential growth in MG publications, both human and nonhuman QG publications continue to grow. A searchable resource of this corpus of behavioral genetic papers is freely available online at http://www.teds.ac.uk/public_datasets.html and will be updated annually. PMID:26992731

  20. Human genetics: lessons from Quebec populations.

    PubMed

    Scriver, C R

    2001-01-01

    The population of Quebec, Canada (7.3 million) contains approximately 6 million French Canadians; they are the descendants of approximately 8500 permanent French settlers who colonized Nouvelle France between 1608 and 1759. Their well-documented settlements, internal migrations, and natural increase over four centuries in relative isolation (geographic, linguistic, etc.) contain important evidence of social transmission of demographic behavior that contributed to effective family size and population structure. This history is reflected in at least 22 Mendelian diseases, occurring at unusually high prevalence in its subpopulations. Immigration of non-French persons during the past 250 years has given the Quebec population further inhomogeneity, which is apparent in allelic diversity at various loci. The histories of Quebec's subpopulations are, to a great extent, the histories of their alleles. Rare pathogenic alleles with high penetrance and associated haplotypes at 10 loci (CFTR, FAH, HBB, HEXA, LDLR, LPL, PAH, PABP2, PDDR, and SACS) are expressed in probands with cystic fibrosis, tyrosinemia, beta-thalassemia, Tay-Sachs, familial hypercholesterolemia, hyperchylomicronemia, PKU, oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy, pseudo vitamin D deficiency rickets, and spastic ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay, respectively) reveal the interpopulation and intrapopulation genetic diversity of Quebec. Inbreeding does not explain the clustering and prevalence of these genetic diseases; genealogical reconstructions buttressed by molecular evidence point to founder effects and genetic drift in multiple instances. Genealogical estimates of historical meioses and analysis of linkage disequilibrium show that sectors of this young population are suitable for linkage disequilibrium mapping of rare alleles. How the population benefits from what is being learned about its structure and how its uniqueness could facilitate construction of a genomic map of linkage disequilibrium are discussed

  1. Primer on Molecular Genetics; DOE Human Genome Program

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    1992-04-01

    This report is taken from the April 1992 draft of the DOE Human Genome 1991--1992 Program Report, which is expected to be published in May 1992. The primer is intended to be an introduction to basic principles of molecular genetics pertaining to the genome project. The material contained herein is not final and may be incomplete. Techniques of genetic mapping and DNA sequencing are described.

  2. Primer on molecular genetics. DOE Human Genome Program

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-04-01

    This report is taken from the April 1992 draft of the DOE Human Genome 1991--1992 Program Report, which is expected to be published in May 1992. The primer is intended to be an introduction to basic principles of molecular genetics pertaining to the genome project. The material contained herein is not final and may be incomplete. Techniques of genetic mapping and DNA sequencing are described.

  3. A current genetic and epigenetic view on human aging mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Ostojić, Sala; Pereza, Nina; Kapović, Miljenko

    2009-06-01

    The process of aging is one of the most complex and intriguing biological phenomenons. Aging is a genetically regulated process in which the organism's maximum lifespan potential is pre-determined, while the rate of aging is influenced by environmental factors and lifestyle. Considering the complexity of mechanisms involved in the regulation of aging process, up to this date there isn't a major, unifying theory which could explain them. As genetic/epigenetic and environmental factors both inevitably influence the aging process, here we present a review on the genetic and epigenetic regulation of the most important molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the process of aging. Based on the studies on oxidative stress, metabolism, genome stability, epigenetic modifications and cellular senescence in animal models and humans, we give an overview of key genetic and molecular pathways related to aging. As most of genetic manipulations which influence the aging process also affect reproduction, we discuss aging in humans as a post-reproductive genetically determined process. After the age of reproductive success, aging continously progresses which clinically coincides with the onset of most chronic diseases, cancers and dementions. As evolution shapes the genomes for reproductive success and not for post-reproductive survival, aging could be defined as a protective mechanism which ensures the preservation and progress of species through the modification, trasmission and improvement of genetic material. PMID:19662799

  4. Genetic Effects on Fine-Grained Human Cortical Regionalization.

    PubMed

    Cui, Yue; Liu, Bing; Zhou, Yuan; Fan, Lingzhong; Li, Jin; Zhang, Yun; Wu, Huawang; Hou, Bing; Wang, Chao; Zheng, Fanfan; Qiu, Chengxiang; Rao, Li-Lin; Ning, Yuping; Li, Shu; Jiang, Tianzi

    2016-09-01

    Various brain structural and functional features such as cytoarchitecture, topographic mapping, gyral/sulcal anatomy, and anatomical and functional connectivity have been used in human brain parcellation. However, the fine-grained intrinsic genetic architecture of the cortex remains unknown. In the present study, we parcellated specific regions of the cortex into subregions based on genetic correlations (i.e., shared genetic influences) between the surface area of each pair of cortical locations within the seed region. The genetic correlations were estimated by comparing the correlations of the surface area between monozygotic and dizygotic twins using bivariate twin models. Our genetic subdivisions of diverse brain regions were reproducible across 2 independent datasets and corresponded closely to fine-grained functional specializations. Furthermore, subregional genetic correlation profiles were generally consistent with functional connectivity patterns. Our findings indicate that the magnitude of the genetic covariance in brain anatomy could be used to delineate the boundaries of functional subregions of the brain and may be of value in the next generation human brain atlas. PMID:26250778

  5. Ethical Considerations in Human Movement Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olivier, Steve

    1995-01-01

    Highlights ethical issues for human subject research, identifying principles that form the construct of a code of research ethics and evaluating against this construct past human experimentation and current research in human movement studies. The efficacy of legislation and self-regulation is examined. Particular attention is given to the context…

  6. Gene Expression and Genetic Variation in Human Atria

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Honghuang; Dolmatova, Elena V.; Morley, Michael P.; Lunetta, Kathryn L.; McManus, David D.; Magnani, Jared W.; Margulies, Kenneth B.; Hakonarson, Hakon; del Monte, Federica; Benjamin, Emelia J.; Cappola, Thomas P.; Ellinor, Patrick T.

    2013-01-01

    Background The human left and right atria have different susceptibilities to develop atrial fibrillation (AF). However, the molecular events related to structural and functional changes that enhance AF susceptibility are still poorly understood. Objective To characterize gene expression and genetic variation in human atria. Methods We studied the gene expression profiles and genetic variations in 53 left atrial and 52 right atrial tissue samples collected from the Myocardial Applied Genomics Network (MAGNet) repository. The tissues were collected from heart failure patients undergoing transplantation and from unused organ donor hearts with normal ventricular function. Gene expression was profiled using the Affymetrix GeneChip Human Genome U133A Array. Genetic variation was profiled using the Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0. Results We found that 109 genes were differentially expressed between left and right atrial tissues. A total of 187 and 259 significant cis-associations between transcript levels and genetic variants were identified in left and right atrial tissues, respectively. We also found that a SNP at a known AF locus, rs3740293, was associated with the expression of MYOZ1 in both left and right atrial tissues. Conclusion We found a distinct transcriptional profile between the right and left atrium, and extensive cis-associations between atrial transcripts and common genetic variants. Our results implicate MYOZ1 as the causative gene at the chromosome 10q22 locus for AF. PMID:24177373

  7. Human genetics for non-scientists: Practical workshops for policy makers and opinion leaders

    SciTech Connect

    1995-12-31

    These workshops form part of a series of workshops that the Banbury and the DNA Learning Centers of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have held for a number of years, introducing genetics, and the ways in which scientific research is done, to non-scientists. The purpose of the workshops as stated in the grant application was: {open_quotes}Our objective is to foster a better understanding of the societal impact of human genome research by providing basic information on genetics to non-scientists whose professions or special interests interface with genetic technology.... Participants will be chosen for their interest in human genetics and for their roles as opinion leaders in their own communities. Primary care physicians are of particular interest to us for this series of workshops.{close_quotes} Two workshops were held under this grant. The first was held in 21-24 April, 1994 and attended by 20 participants, and the second was held 16-19 November, 1995, and attended by 16 participants. In each case, there was a combination of concept lectures on the foundations of human molecular genetics; lectures by invited specialists; and laboratory experiments to introduce non-scientists to the techniques used in molecular genetics.

  8. Human Aggression Across the Lifespan: Genetic Propensities and Environmental Moderators

    PubMed Central

    Tuvblad, Catherine; Baker, Laura A.

    2013-01-01

    This chapter reviews the recent evidence of genetic and environmental influences on human aggression. Findings from a large selection of the twin and adoption studies that have investigated the genetic and environmental architecture of aggressive behavior are summarized. These studies together show that about half (50%) of the variance in aggressive behavior is explained by genetic influences in both males and females, with the remaining 50% of the variance being explained by environmental factors not shared by family members. Form of aggression (reactive, proactive, direct/physical, indirect/relational), method of assessment (laboratory observation, self-report, ratings by parents and teachers), and age of the subjects—all seem to be significant moderators of the magnitude of genetic and environmental influences on aggressive behavior. Neither study design (twin vs. sibling adoption design) nor sex (male vs. female) seems to impact the magnitude of the genetic and environmental influences on aggression. There is also some evidence of gene-environment interaction (G × E) from both twin/adoption studies and molecular genetic studies. Various measures of family adversity and social disadvantage have been found to moderate genetic influences on aggressive behavior. Findings from these G × E studies suggest that not all individuals will be affected to the same degree by experiences and exposures, and that genetic predispositions may have different effects depending on the environment. PMID:22078481

  9. Taking a Stand: The Genetics Community's Responsibility for Intelligence Research.

    PubMed

    Callier, Shawneequa L; Bonham, Vence L

    2015-01-01

    There is a longstanding debate about genetics research into intelligence. Some scholars question the value of focusing on genetic contributions to intelligence in a society where social and environmental determinants powerfully influence cognitive ability and educational outcomes. Others warn that censoring certain research questions, such as inquiries about genetic differences in intellectual potential, compromises academic freedom. Still others view interest in this subject as a corollary to a long and troublesome history of eugenics research. The dawn of a new era in genome sequencing as a commodity will sustain scientific interest in the genetics of intelligence for the foreseeable future, but deep-rooted challenges threaten the scientific merit of the research. The use of imprecise definitions of study populations, the difficult nature of studying the environment, and the potential of researcher bias are inextricably linked with concerns about the trustworthiness and utility of research in this area. Leadership by the genetics community is essential to ensure the value and trustworthiness of these studies. PMID:26413950

  10. ANALYSIS OF THE SPECTRA OF GENETIC ACTIVITY PRODUCED BY KNOWN OR SUSPECTED HUMAN CARCINOGENS

    EPA Science Inventory

    For 24 agents classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as known or suspected human carcinogens, we previously catalogued the qualitative genetic bioassay data available in the literature. In the present analysis, dose information, where available, was added t...

  11. Teachers' Conceptions about the Genetic Determinism of Human Behaviour: A Survey in 23 Countries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castéra, Jérémy; Clément, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    This work analyses the answers to a questionnaire from 8,285 in-service and pre-service teachers from 23 countries, elaborated by the Biohead-Citizen research project, to investigate teachers' conceptions related to the genetic determinism of human behaviour. A principal components analysis is used to assess the main trends in all the…

  12. The Genetics of Sun Sensitivity in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Rees, Jonathan L.

    2004-01-01

    Humans vary >100-fold in their sensitivity to the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. The main determinants of sensitivity are melanin pigmentation and less-well-characterized differences in skin inflammation and repair processes. Pigmentation has a high heritability, but susceptibility to cancers of the skin, a key marker of sun sensitivity, is less heritable. Despite a large number of murine coat-color mutations, only one gene in humans, the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), is known to account for substantial variation in skin and hair color and in skin cancer incidence. MC1R encodes a 317–amino acid G-coupled receptor that controls the relative amounts of the two major melanin classes, eumelanin and pheomelanin. Most persons with red hair are homozygous for alleles of the MC1R gene that show varying degrees of diminished function. More than 65 human MC1R alleles with nonsynonymous changes have been identified, and current evidence suggests that many of them vary in their physiological activity, such that a graded series of responses can be achieved on the basis of (i) dosage effects (of one or two alleles) and (ii) individual differences in the pharmacological profile in response to ligand. Thus, a single locus, identified within a Mendelian framework, can contribute significantly to human pigmentary variation. PMID:15372380

  13. Molecular genetic determinants of human brain size.

    PubMed

    Tang, Bor Luen

    2006-07-01

    Cognitive skills such as tool use, syntactical languages, and self-awareness differentiate humans from other primates. The underlying basis for this cognitive difference has been widely associated with a high encephalization quotient and an anatomically distinct, exceptionally large cerebral cortex. Investigations on congenital microcephaly had revealed several genes that affect mammalian brain size when mutated. At least four of these, microcephalin (MCPH1), abnormal spindle-like microcephaly-associated (ASPM), cyclin-dependent kinase 5 regulatory associated protein 2 (CDK5RAP2), and centromere-associated protein J (CENPJ) are known to have undergone significant positive selection in the great apes and human lineages during primate evolution. MCPH1 and ASPM both have very young single nucleotide polymorphism haplotypes associated with modern humans, and these genes are presumably still evolving in Homo sapiens. Microcephalin has a role in DNA damage response and regulation of cell cycle checkpoints. The other known microcephaly-associated genes encode microtubule-associated centrosomal proteins that might regulate neural progenitor cell division and cell number. Recent reports have also unveiled a previously unknown function of ephrins and Eph in the regulation of neural progenitor cell death with a consequential effect on brain size. Understanding the mechanism for developmental control of brain organogenesis by these genes, and others such as FOXP2, shall provide fresh perspectives on the evolution of human intelligence. PMID:16716254

  14. AFRICAN GENETIC DIVERSITY: Implications for Human Demographic History, Modern Human Origins, and Complex Disease Mapping

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Michael C.; Tishkoff, Sarah A.

    2010-01-01

    Comparative studies of ethnically diverse human populations, particularly in Africa, are important for reconstructing human evolutionary history and for understanding the genetic basis of phenotypic adaptation and complex disease. African populations are characterized by greater levels of genetic diversity, extensive population substructure, and less linkage disequilibrium (LD) among loci compared to non-African populations. Africans also possess a number of genetic adaptations that have evolved in response to diverse climates and diets, as well as exposure to infectious disease. This review summarizes patterns and the evolutionary origins of genetic diversity present in African populations, as well as their implications for the mapping of complex traits, including disease susceptibility. PMID:18593304

  15. [Human genetic data from a data protection law perspective].

    PubMed

    Schulte In den Bäumen, Tobias

    2007-02-01

    The collection and use of genetic data have caused much concern in the German population. Data protection is widely seen as the tool to address these fears. The term genetic data is not self-explanatory, as it depends on the different types of genetic diseases. The protection of genetic data as defined with regard to the different sets of diseases needs to fit into the preexisting data protection legislation. Still, the particularities of genetic data such as the multipersonal impact need to be considered. A balance between the information needs of society and the right to privacy requires a medically driven criteria. The medical term of indication which corresponds with the data protection term of purpose should serve as a tool in order to balance the rights of the patients and their relatives or between clients and third persons involved. Some countries have set up new legislative acts to address the challenges of human genetics. The current state of German data protection law leaves citizen rather unprotected as long as the data are used for medical purposes in a wider sense. A special law on the collection of genetic data has been discussed for several years, but it should be questioned whether the scope of a sector-specific law would serve citizens better. It seems to be preferable to adjust the existing Data Protection Act rather than drafting a specific law which covers the field of human genetics. This adaptation should reflect upon the different technical ways in which genetic data are collected and used. PMID:17238055

  16. Genetic Engineering of Animals for Medical Research: Students' Views.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Ruaraidh; Stanisstreet, Martin; O'Sullivan, Helen; Boyes, Edward

    1999-01-01

    Reports on the results of a survey meant to ascertain the views of 16- to 18-year-old students (n=778) on using animals in medical research. Suggests that students have no greater objection to the use of genetically engineered animals over naturally bred animals in medical research. Contains 16 references. (Author/WRM)

  17. The role of genetically engineered pigs in xenotransplantation research.

    PubMed

    Cooper, David K C; Ekser, Burcin; Ramsoondar, Jagdeece; Phelps, Carol; Ayares, David

    2016-01-01

    There is a critical shortage in the number of deceased human organs that become available for the purposes of clinical transplantation. This problem might be resolved by the transplantation of organs from pigs genetically engineered to protect them from the human immune response. The pathobiological barriers to successful pig organ transplantation in primates include activation of the innate and adaptive immune systems, coagulation dysregulation and inflammation. Genetic engineering of the pig as an organ source has increased the survival of the transplanted pig heart, kidney, islet and corneal graft in non-human primates (NHPs) from minutes to months or occasionally years. Genetic engineering may also contribute to any physiological barriers that might be identified, as well as to reducing the risks of transfer of a potentially infectious micro-organism with the organ. There are now an estimated 40 or more genetic alterations that have been carried out in pigs, with some pigs expressing five or six manipulations. With the new technology now available, it will become increasingly common for a pig to express even more genetic manipulations, and these could be tested in the pig-to-NHP models to assess their efficacy and benefit. It is therefore likely that clinical trials of pig kidney, heart and islet transplantation will become feasible in the near future. PMID:26365762

  18. Your Genes, Your Choices: Exploring the Issues Raised by Genetic Research

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, C.

    1999-05-31

    Your Genes, Your Choices provides accurate information about the ethical, legal, and social implications of the Human Genome Project and genetic research in an easy-to-read style and format. Each chapter in the book begins with a brief vignette, which introduces an issue within a human story, and raises a question for the reader to think about as the basic science and information are presented in the rest of the chapter.

  19. Mendelian genetics: Paradigm, conjecture, or research program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oldham, V.; Brouwer, W.

    Kuhn's model of the structure of scientific revolutions, Popper's hypothetic-deductive model of science, and Lakatos's methodology of competing research programs are applied to a historical episode in biology. Each of these three models offers a different explanatory system for the development, neglect, and eventual acceptance of Mendel's paradigm of inheritance. The authors conclude that both rational and nonrational criteria play an important role during times of crisis in science, when different research programs compete for acceptance. It is suggested that Kuhn's model, emphasizing the nonrational basis of science, and Popper's model, emphasizing the rational basis of science, can be used fruitfully in high school science courses.

  20. Mendelian Genetics: Paradigm, Conjecture, or Research Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oldham, V.; Brouwer, W.

    1984-01-01

    Applies Kuhn's model of the structure of scientific revolutions, Popper's hypothetic-deductive model of science, and Lakatos' methodology of competing research programs to a historical biological episode. Suggests using Kuhn's model (emphasizing the nonrational basis of science) and Popper's model (emphasizing the rational basis of science) in…

  1. The Nazi symbiosis: politics and human genetics at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute.

    PubMed

    Berez, Thomas M; Weiss, Sheila Faith

    2004-12-01

    The case of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics (KWIA), from its inception in Weimar Republic Germany to its apogee under the rule of the Third Reich, is an example of how politics and human heredity can function as mutually beneficial resources. Whether it was a result of the Nazi bureaucrats' desire to legitimize their racial policy through science, or the KWIA personnel's desire to secure more funding for their research, the symbiotic relationship that developed between human genetics and Nazi politics could help explain why many scientists in the Third Reich undertook research projects that wholly transgressed the boundaries of morally acceptable science. PMID:15571767

  2. Human genetics of tuberculosis: a long and winding road

    PubMed Central

    Abel, Laurent; El-Baghdadi, Jamila; Bousfiha, Ahmed Aziz; Casanova, Jean-Laurent; Schurr, Erwin

    2014-01-01

    Only a small fraction of individuals exposed to Mycobacterium tuberculosis develop clinical tuberculosis (TB). Over the past century, epidemiological studies have shown that human genetic factors contribute significantly to this interindividual variability, and molecular progress has been made over the past decade for at least two of the three key TB-related phenotypes: (i) a major locus controlling resistance to infection with M. tuberculosis has been identified, and (ii) proof of principle that severe TB of childhood can result from single-gene inborn errors of interferon-γ immunity has been provided; genetic association studies with pulmonary TB in adulthood have met with more limited success. Future genetic studies of these three phenotypes could consider subgroups of subjects defined on the basis of individual (e.g. age at TB onset) or environmental (e.g. pathogen strain) factors. Progress may also be facilitated by further methodological advances in human genetics. Identification of the human genetic variants controlling the various stages and forms of TB is critical for understanding TB pathogenesis. These findings should have major implications for TB control, in the definition of improved prevention strategies, the optimization of vaccines and clinical trials and the development of novel treatments aiming to restore deficient immune responses. PMID:24821915

  3. Autosomal ring chromosomes in human genetic disorders

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Ring chromosomes arise following breakage and rejoining in both chromosome arms. They are heterogeneous with variable size and genetic content and can originate from any chromosome. Phenotypes associated with ring chromosomes are highly variable as apart from any deletion caused by ring formation, imbalances from ring instability can also occur. Of interest is ring chromosome 20 which has a significant association with epilepsy with seizure onset in early childhood. Severe growth deficiency without major malformations is a common finding in the ring chromosome carrier. This phenotype associated with ring behaviour and mitotic instability and independent of the chromosome involved has been termed the “ring syndrome”. Precise genotype-phenotype correlations for ring chromosomes may not be possible as influencing factors vary depending on the extent of deletion in ring formation, ring instability and the level of mosaicism. Although ring chromosomes usually arise as de novo events, familial transmission of rings from carrier to offspring has been described and prenatal diagnosis for any pregnancies should always be considered. PMID:26835370

  4. Genetics of human Bardet-Biedl syndrome, an updates.

    PubMed

    Khan, S A; Muhammad, N; Khan, M A; Kamal, A; Rehman, Z U; Khan, S

    2016-07-01

    Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) is an autosomal recessive multisystemic human genetic disorder characterized by six major defects including obesity, mental retardation, renal anomalies, polydactyly, retinal degeneration and hypogenitalism. In several cases of BBS, few other features such as metabolic defects, cardiovascular anomalies, speech deficits, hearing loss, hypertension, hepatic defects and high incidence of diabetes mellitus have been reported as well. The BBS displays extensive genetic heterogeneity. To date, 19 genes have been mapped on different chromosomes causing BBS phenotypes having varied mutational load of each BBS gene. In this review, we have discussed clinical spectrum and genetics of BBS. This report presents a concise overview of the current knowledge on clinical data and its molecular genetics progress upto date. PMID:26762677

  5. Genetic variation and the de novo assembly of human genomes

    PubMed Central

    Chaisson, Mark J. P.; Wilson, Richard K.; Eichler, Evan E.

    2016-01-01

    The discovery of genetic variation and the assembly of genome sequences are both inextricably linked to advances in DNA-sequencing technology. Short-read massively parallel sequencing has revolutionized our ability to discover genetic variation but is insufficient to generate high-quality genome assemblies or resolve most structural variation. Full resolution of variation is only guaranteed by complete de novo assembly of a genome. Here, we review approaches to genome assembly, the nature of gaps or missing sequences, and biases in the assembly process. We describe the challenges of generating a complete de novo genome assembly using current technologies and the impact that being able to perfectly sequence the genome would have on understanding human disease and evolution. Finally, we summarize recent technological advances that improve both contiguity and accuracy and emphasize the importance of complete de novo assembly as opposed to read mapping as the primary means to understanding the full range of human genetic variation. PMID:26442640

  6. Sequencing studies in human genetics: design and interpretation

    PubMed Central

    Goldstein, David B.; Allen, Andrew; Keebler, Jonathan; Margulies, Elliott H.; Petrou, Steven; Petrovski, Slavé; Sunyaev, Shamil

    2014-01-01

    Next-gene ration sequencing is becoming the primary discovery tool in human genetics. There have been many clear successes in identifying genes that are responsible for Mendelian diseases, and sequencing approaches are now poised to identify the mutations that cause undiagnosed childhood genetic diseases and those that predispose individuals to more common complex diseases. There are, however, growing concerns that the complexity and magnitude of complete sequence data could lead to an explosion of weakly justified claims of association between genetic variants and disease. Here, we provide an overview of the basic workflow in next-generation sequencing studies and emphasize, where possible, measures and considerations that facilitate accurate inferences from human sequencing studies. PMID:23752795

  7. Therapeutic Targets of Triglyceride Metabolism as Informed by Human Genetics.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Robert C; Khetarpal, Sumeet A; Hand, Nicholas J; Rader, Daniel J

    2016-04-01

    Human genetics has contributed to the development of multiple drugs to treat hyperlipidemia and coronary artery disease (CAD), most recently including antibodies targeting PCSK9 to reduce LDL cholesterol. Despite these successes, a large burden of CAD remains. Genetic and epidemiological studies have suggested that circulating triglyceride (TG)-rich lipoproteins (TRLs) are a causal risk factor for CAD, presenting an opportunity for novel therapeutic strategies. We discuss recent unbiased human genetics testing, including genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and whole-genome or -exome sequencing, that have identified the lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and hepatic lipogenesis pathways as important mechanisms in the regulation of circulating TRLs. Further strengthening the causal relationship between TRLs and CAD, findings such as these may provide novel targets for much-needed potential therapeutic interventions. PMID:26988439

  8. Exploring human brain lateralization with molecular genetics and genomics.

    PubMed

    Francks, Clyde

    2015-11-01

    Lateralizations of brain structure and motor behavior have been observed in humans as early as the first trimester of gestation, and are likely to arise from asymmetrical genetic-developmental programs, as in other animals. Studies of gene expression levels in postmortem tissue samples, comparing the left and right sides of the human cerebral cortex, have generally not revealed striking transcriptional differences between the hemispheres. This is likely due to lateralization of gene expression being subtle and quantitative. However, a recent re-analysis and meta-analysis of gene expression data from the adult superior temporal and auditory cortex found lateralization of transcription of genes involved in synaptic transmission and neuronal electrophysiology. Meanwhile, human subcortical mid- and hindbrain structures have not been well studied in relation to lateralization of gene activity, despite being potentially important developmental origins of asymmetry. Genetic polymorphisms with small effects on adult brain and behavioral asymmetries are beginning to be identified through studies of large datasets, but the core genetic mechanisms of lateralized human brain development remain unknown. Identifying subtly lateralized genetic networks in the brain will lead to a new understanding of how neuronal circuits on the left and right are differently fine-tuned to preferentially support particular cognitive and behavioral functions. PMID:25950729

  9. Public Attitudes toward Human Genetic Manipulation: A Revitalization of Eugenics?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veglia, Geremia; And Others

    The purpose of this investigation was to measure the attitudes of college students across the United States concerning the possible use of genetic manipulation, especially in terms of enhancing human physical and intellectual characteristics. The instrument used was divided into three general areas of inquiry: the first, designed to measure the…

  10. Genetically encoded optical activation of DNA recombination in human cells.

    PubMed

    Luo, J; Arbely, E; Zhang, J; Chou, C; Uprety, R; Chin, J W; Deiters, A

    2016-06-30

    We developed two tightly regulated, light-activated Cre recombinase enzymes through site-specific incorporation of two genetically-encoded photocaged amino acids in human cells. Excellent optical off to on switching of DNA recombination was achieved. Furthermore, we demonstrated precise spatial control of Cre recombinase through patterned illumination. PMID:27277957