Navigation Links
Ben-Gurion U. researchers reveal connection between cancer and human evolution
Date:7/2/2009

BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL, July 2, 2009 Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have discovered that gene mutations that once helped humans survive may increase the possibility for diseases, including cancer.

The findings were recently the cover story in the journal Genome Research.

The team of researchers from BGU's National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev (NIBN) set out to look for mutations in the genome of the mitochondria, a part of every cell responsible for energy production that is passed exclusively from mothers to their children. The mitochondria are essential to every cell's survival and our ability to perform the functions of living.

"Our ancestors responded to environmental changes, such as climate shift, with mutations that increased their chances of survival. But today, these same mutations predispose us toward complex diseases such as cancer," according to researcher Dr. Dan Mishmar, a molecular biologist from the Department of Life Sciences at BGU. "Although mitochondria's role in the emergence of new species has been investigated recently, the idea that they are responsible for our susceptibility to illness startles many."

To test this hypothesis, the researchers analyzed the genome mitochondria mutations from 98 unrelated individuals. Combinations of mutations tended to occur in tumors in precisely the same DNA building blocks that changed during evolution. The team also found that the mitochondrial genome of humans who migrated out of Africa to Europe 100,000 years ago carried seven mutations found in almost all of today's Europeans.

"The concept that the same principles that drive evolution toward the emergence of new species govern the emergence of diseases is new," Mishmar explains. "A clinician looks at the genome of a tumor, or other disease, and compares it to the normal population, looking for new mutations that do not occur there. I assume the mutations are already part of the population and have had a survival function. When these same mutations reoccur in the correct environment, they can cause disease."

As reported in the leading journal Genome Research, "We show, strikingly, that evolution repeated itself in cancer. If we better understand how evolution moved, we can understand the genetic basis of many complex disorders. Since mitochondria play a central role in disease, if we understand how they work and the way they changed our ability to survive in different conditions in ancient times, we can understand the mechanics of the disease. And we'll understand a lot about the way certain people develop diseases and others have a lower tendency toward those same diseases. This may lead to new methods of disease prevention or cures."


'/>"/>

Contact: Andrew Lavin
andrewlavin@alavin.com
212-290-9540
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Ben-Gurion University research and technology used in new solar energy farm
2. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev signs collaborative contract with Bayer CropScience
3. Ben-Gurion University engineers develop technique to help combat nuclear proliferation
4. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers develop new reversible, green window technology
5. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to host
6. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers help find that hypnosis can induce synesthesia
7. Environmental peace treaty between Israel and Palestinians unveiled at Ben-Gurion University
8. University of Leicester researchers discover new fluorescent silicon nanoparticles
9. OJ worse for teeth than whitening says Eastman Institute researchers
10. Stanford researchers publish comprehensive model for medical device development
11. Researchers see evidence of memory in the songbird brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric ... of around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 ... market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017   Neurotechnology , ... recognition technologies, today announced the release of the ... which provides improved facial recognition using up to ... a single computer. The new version uses deep ... accuracy, and it utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... , March 20, 2017 At this year,s ... -based biometrics manufacturer DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand ... is this year,s CeBIT partner country. At the largest German biometrics ... in use: fingerprint, face and iris recognition as well as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... Ltd. ("Sinovac" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: SVA), a leading provider of ... its board of directors has amended its shareholder rights plan. The amendment ... to March 27, 2018. The amendment was not in response to any ... ... is a China -based biopharmaceutical company that focuses ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... , ... Lajollacooks4u is proud to announce it has become the premiere team-building cooking event company ... around the world, such as Illumina, HP and Qualcomm, and is ranked #1 in its ... is due to its new team building format, a way for teams to not only ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 2017  BioPharmX Corporation (NYSE MKT: BPMX), a ... market, today reported financial results for the quarter ... provide an update on the company,s clinical development ... "We are pleased to report that last year ... President Anja Krammer. "We achieved key clinical milestones ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 2017  Agriculture technology company Cool Planet has closed ... conversion to commercialize its Cool Terra and Cool Fauna ... products that are simultaneously profitable as well as sustainable ... 18 months. This latest round of funding was led ... The company,s primary product, Cool Terra, can ...
Breaking Biology Technology: