Nobody’s perfect, not even the healthiest among us. Scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Cardiff University have determined that, on average, a normal healthy person carries approximately 400 protein-damaging DNA mutations and two mutations directly linked with a high risk of disease. The research was published in the December 7th issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics .
Researchers offer the first evidence that DNA damage can lead to the regulation of inflammatory responses, the body’s reaction to injury. The proteins involved in the regulation help protect the body from infection. The study, performed by scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), which is part of the National Institutes of Health, is one of the first studies to come out of the recently established NIEHS Clinical Research Unit (CRU).
Diagnoses of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), like those of food allergies, have risen dramatically in children over the last few generations. And again like food allergies, the cause is unclear. However, a team of researchers in England recently identified a genetic link for the disorder . The study, published in The Lancet, found that children with ADHD were more likely to have small segments of their DNA duplicated or missing than other children that don’t have the disorder.
Mitosis is the biological process involving chromosomal duplication and nuclear division. Mitosis is usually followed by cytokinesis, whereby the watery environment inside a cell, known as the cytoplasm, and cell membrane divide. Two identical cells are generated, each having the same number of chromosomes as the parental cell. Somatic cells (meaning any cell that is not a germline cell) undergo mitosis while germ cells (cells destined to become sperm or eggs) divide by a related process called meiosis.
Spinal muscular atrophy legislation, “The SMA Treatment Acceleration Act”, will soon be introduced in both the U.S House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
What is spinal muscular atrophy?
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive (meaning the disorder is inherited by receiving one gene from both mother and father) neuromuscluar disorder that affects motor neurons of the spinal cord and brainstem. Motor neurons are responsible for supplying electrical and chemical messages to muscle cells. Without proper input from motor neurons, muscle cells don’t function properly and become much smaller (atrophy), producing symptoms of muscle weakness and affecting the ability to swallow, breath and move limbs.