Navigation Links
Could mutant flies give epilepsy sufferers greater peace of mind?
Date:3/21/2011

EUREKA "Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration" is the name of a rare and competitive grant that Reenan recently won from the National Institutes of Health. Beginning April 1, Reenan will use the four-year, $1.3-million award to look for genes that can suppress seizures in fruit flies that he has cleverly engineered to mimic human epilepsy.

The epiphany, which came a few years ago, was about the surprising genetic similarity between fruit flies and people. For years Reenan has conducted basic gene expression research on a particular fruit fly gene nicknamed "para" that governs how sodium ions can trigger brain cells to electrically signal muscles to move. Ominously, the gene's name is short for paralytic.

"I'd known for years that there are sodium channel-related genes in humans," he said. "One day, I thought, 'I should check out what's the closest human homolog of the para gene.' So I did that."

He found a very close match between para and the human gene SCN1A. Subsequently he found that mutations on that gene underlie forms of epilepsy including the childhood forms generalized epilepsy with febrile (fever-triggered) seizures and severe myclonic epilepsy of infancy.

Reenan realized that if he could precisely and reliably create the epilepsy mutations found in the human SCN1A gene in the fruit fly para gene, he'd have a mass producible platform for genetic research into the disease. Fruit flies can be bred, engineered and observed by the thousands, and his flies would be genetically meaningful stand-ins for people.

Now that he's succeeded in making flies that mimic human epilepsy, his goal is to breed and observe the mutant flies in ways that intentionally mutate them further. Maybe one of those mutations will suppress the disease.

A unique technique

The trick, one that the NIH reviewers found to be "exceptional and unconventional" enough to support with the EUREKA gra
'/>"/>

Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Vitiligo skin disorder could yield clues in fight against melanoma
2. Saliva proteins could help detection of oral cancer
3. Research about plant viruses could lead to new ways to improve crop yields
4. Nanodiamond drug device could transform cancer treatment
5. UNC study on properties of carbon nanotubes, water could have wide-ranging implications
6. So-called sandfish could help materials handling and process technology specialists
7. Discovery of natural compounds that could slow blood vessel growth
8. Researchers design artificial cells that could power medical implants
9. Herbicide-resistant grape could revitalize Midwest wine industry
10. Sensitive laser instrument could aid search for life on Mars
11. Could Dr. House be replaced by a computer?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/29/2014)... of the Tibetan plateau -- the largest topographic anomaly ... both its profound effect on climate and its reflection ... GSA Bulletin , Katharine Huntington and colleagues employ a ... modern and fossil snail shells to investigate the uplift ... , Views range widely on the timing of surface ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... America (ESA) is pleased to announce the selection of ... Society. Honorary Membership acknowledges those who have served ESA ... the affairs of the Society that has reached an ... the ESA Governing Board and then voted on by ... the Awards Ceremony at Entomology 2014, ESA,s Annual Meeting ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... reports that an expansion of marine protected areas is ... functions. According to investigators from the Wildlife Conservation ... have focused on saving the largest numbers of species, ... key and difficult-to-replace ecological functions. , Many ... fish species that also are food for millions of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Snails tell of the rise and fall of the Tibetan Plateau 2Snails tell of the rise and fall of the Tibetan Plateau 3Snails tell of the rise and fall of the Tibetan Plateau 4Snails tell of the rise and fall of the Tibetan Plateau 5Snails tell of the rise and fall of the Tibetan Plateau 6Snails tell of the rise and fall of the Tibetan Plateau 7Fred Baxendale selected as Honorary Member of the Entomological Society of America 2Study finds marine protected areas inadequate for protecting fish and ocean ecology 2
... Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists has peeled back some ... off genes selectively to control critical events of development. The ... the structure of Dicer, an enzyme that enables cells to ... in the January 13, 2005, issue of the journal Science ...
... Biobank, a visionary medical project aimed at improving the ... and many other serious conditions is launched this week ... three thousand people living in the south Manchester area ... before it goes nationwide later this year. , They ...
... at the University of Minnesota Medical School have discovered a ... have properties of primitive stem cells. , Umbilical ... that can only produce cells found in blood. The ... cells with the characteristics of more primitive stem cells that ...
Cached Biology News:Molecule does more than slice and dice RNA 2Molecule does more than slice and dice RNA 3Molecule does more than slice and dice RNA 4Multi-million pound UK Biobank underway 2Multi-million pound UK Biobank underway 3
(Date:8/29/2014)... DIEGO, Aug. 29, 2014  Pfenex Inc. (NYSE ... the development of high-value and difficult to manufacture ... update and reported financial results for the second ... the successful completion of our initial public offering, ... our biosimilar product candidates, derived from our proprietary ...
(Date:8/29/2014)... of the most promising technologies for future quantum circuits ... instead of electrons. First, it is necessary to be ... control their direction. Researchers around the world have made ... now scientists at the Niels Bohr Institute have succeeded ... at a time and in a particular direction. The ...
(Date:8/29/2014)... New York (PRWEB) August 29, 2014 ... valued at $5.6 billion in 2019. It is ... from 2013 to 2019, and was valued at ... report published by Transparency Market Research. , For ... visit: http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/companion-diagnostics-market.html . , The research report, ...
(Date:8/29/2014)... According to a new market report published by Transparency ... valued at USD 3,754.6 million in 2012 and is estimated ... CAGR of 5.9% from 2013 to 2019. , Nearly half ... by bone and joint disorders, and this number is expected ... will continue to increase the demand for orthobiologics. Other factors ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Pfenex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Results and Provides Business Update 2Pfenex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Results and Provides Business Update 3Pfenex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Results and Provides Business Update 4Pfenex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Results and Provides Business Update 5Pfenex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Results and Provides Business Update 6Pfenex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Results and Provides Business Update 7Pfenex Reports Second Quarter 2014 Results and Provides Business Update 8Breakthrough in light sources for new quantum technology 2Companion Diagnostics Market to Hit $5.6 Billion in 2019: Transparency Market Research 2Companion Diagnostics Market to Hit $5.6 Billion in 2019: Transparency Market Research 3Global Orthobiologics Market to Reach $5,519.9 Million by 2019: Transparency Market Research 2Global Orthobiologics Market to Reach $5,519.9 Million by 2019: Transparency Market Research 3
... breath, sweat and skin have been used to detect humans ... of portable sensors for use in real-life situations, such as ... disasters in New Zealand and Japan. Published today, Monday ... , the study examined flumes of air to create a ...
... , Bochum,s physicists led by Prof. Dr. Hartmut Zabel ... for the first time experimentally. The behaviour of the ... research team at the RUB has now succeeded in ... resolution. Through their rotation of the magnetic moments, the ...
... Ore. -- A collaborative Oregon State University-University of Oregon ... Science Foundation grant in 2008, is moving into a ... The new NSF funding, awarded through its Centers ... Sustainable Materials Chemistry to expand research and development and ...
Cached Biology Technology:Scientists utilize breath and sweat to detect trapped humans 2Spin pumping effect proven for the first time 2Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry gets Phase 2 NSF grant 2Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry gets Phase 2 NSF grant 3Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry gets Phase 2 NSF grant 4
Request Info...
... the 4300 System features Saga GT , ... SagaGT automates electrophoresis, lane finding, location of ... scoring. ,Saga GT is second generation ... was initially developed at the University of ...
... Polynucleotide Kinase (PNK) catalyzes the transfer ... the 5'-hydroxyl of single- and double-stranded ... enzyme also removes the 3'-phosphate from ... 3', 5'-diphosphates to form a 3'-hydroxyl ...
Request Info...
Biology Products: