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:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016  The American College of Medical ... Show Executive Magazine as one of the fastest-growing trade ... 25-27 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas ... highest percentage of growth in each of the following categories: ... companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... VANCOUVER, British Columbia , June 21, 2016 ... been appointed to the new role of principal ... has been named the director of customer development. ... , NuData,s chief technical officer. The moves reflect ... development teams in response to high customer demand ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Transparency Market ... Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size ... to the report, the  global gesture recognition market ... and is estimated to grow at a CAGR ... 2024.  Increasing application of gesture recognition ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... , December 8, 2016 Oxford ... its customisable SureSeq™ NGS panel range with the launch of ... and cost-effective study of variants in familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). The ... (CNV) detection on a single small panel and allows customisation ... This includes all exons for LDLR , P ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Worcester, Mass (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... KbioBox genetic data bioInformatics portal. In response to client demand KbioBox developed a ... gene edit biodesign program. Both are accessible from KBioBox’s new website, https://www.kbiobox.com/ ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... Microbial genomics leader, uBiome, joins Google, ... of just six company finalists in the Health & Medicine category. Over 1,000 ... as finalists in this year’s awards include Google, SpaceX, Oculus, and SolarCity. Individuals ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Soligenix, Inc. (OTCQB: ... company focused on developing and commercializing products to ... medical need, announced today the long-term follow-up data ... (dusquetide), a first-in-class Innate Defense Regulator (IDR), in ... and neck cancer patients undergoing chemoradiation therapy (CRT).  ...
Breaking Biology Technology: