Navigation Links
Statistical tool could explain gene study variations
Date:5/28/2008

While scientists are using the human genome to associate certain genes with disease, Dr. Hongyan Xu wants to ensure they are accounting for natural variations in those genes.

"These differences can create some challenges in analyzing data," says Dr. Xu, biostatistician in the Medical College of Georgia School of Graduate Studies. "There is always some difference in ethnic backgrounds across a study population."

For instance, a study looking at a population of blacks from Augusta and blacks from Chicago wouldn't necessarily take into account the difference in subpopulations, he says.

"Some groups of blacks could have different degrees of ancestry from different African groups," he says. "Some populations of blacks have different skin tones, which indicate a difference in genetic makeup. That isn't always taken into account."

Scientists use genome-wide association studies to compare the genes of people with health conditions to the genes of healthy people, thereby better understanding basic biological processes that affect health and possibly how to better diagnose and treat disease.

Some studies account for differences by using control groups who self-report similar ethnicities. But there can be wide variations because people are not always completely aware of their ancestry, Dr. Xu says.

A computer-based statistical tool could be the answer, he says.

Dr. Xu and colleagues will start by examining an existing database from an ongoing association study of stroke risk in black children. That study, conducted by Dr. Abdullah Kutlar, hematologist/oncologist and director of the MCG Sickle Cell Center, aims to understand the genetics of stroke risk in children with sickle cell disease. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Xu and his team will take a closer look at children already identified as high-risk because of high blood flow velocity in the brain, as measured by transcranial Doppler tests.

Previous MCG research identified high-velocity blood flow as a risk factor for stroke and regular blood transfusions as a way to reduce that risk.

"While Dr. Kutlar is looking for the underlying genetic reasons for the higher stroke risks in this sample of patients, we will be looking for ways to identify the subpopulations in that sample," Dr. Xu says. "If population structure isn't taken into account, it could affect the validity of study results."

Researchers will use a statistical approach known as coalescent theory, which traces coding sequences of genes in a population sample to a single ancestral copy of a gene. That gene would theoretically be copied in the genetics of every member of an identical population.

For instance, two people with almost identical sets of chromosomes could differ in a very small way by one structural unit that binds their DNA. By tracing it back, researchers would reach a point where the "copied" gene would not be present. That would indicate the point where two lineages joined, Dr. Xu says.

Genetic differences among the two populations could then be tagged, subcategorized and accounted for in study results, he says.

"With the coalescent theory, we focus on the samples rather than the whole population," Dr. Xu says. "That way, we can generate samples with various levels of population structure with great efficiency using computers, which are important for large-scale genome-wide studies. Understanding the genetic basis for disease is key to prevention, diagnosis and effective treatment. Developing a method that accounts for variations in the genetics of people who are similar but distinct is crucial to better understanding the genetics of health."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Hilliard
jhilliard@mcg.edu
706-721-8604
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Research suggests parts of UK could be too hot for wine making by 2080
2. Research suggests parts of UK could be too hot for wine-making by 2080
3. Fluorescent nano-barcodes could revolutionize diagnostics
4. Molecular clock could predict risk for developing breast cancer
5. Sugar linkage could lead to better treatment for autoimmune diseases
6. Fruit fly avoidance mechanism could lead to new ways to control pain in humans
7. UF scientists discover compound that could lead to new blood pressure drugs
8. New 3-D ultrasound could improve stroke diagnosis, care
9. Inflammation triggers cell fusions that could protect neurons, Stanford research shows
10. Smithsonian scientists find evidence that could rewrite Hawaiis botanical history
11. For some who have lost their sense of smell, a once popular asthma drug could help
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Statistical tool could explain gene study variations
(Date:7/20/2017)... DAL ) customers now can use fingerprints instead of their ... (DCA). ... launches biometrics to board aircraft at Reagan Washington National Airport ... Delta,s biometric boarding pass experience that launched in May at ... process to allow eligible Delta SkyMiles Members who are enrolled in CLEAR ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an ... identity verification solutions, announced today they will participate as ... 15 thru May 17, 2017, in Washington ... Center. Identity impacts the lives of ... quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is critical to ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... -- Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, ... which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ... will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big ... Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/11/2017)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... August 11, 2017 , ... A ... rebranding campaign this month that will incorporate important key elements including a new digital ... the community that has supported them, Bill Miller has partnered with the South Texas ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... As a full-service ... its ideal customers with the right message. Their effective, cutting-edge inbound marketing strategies ... we realize how crucial the agriculture industry is,” said David Phelps, chief marketing ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... Durham, NC (PRWEB) , ... August 09, 2017 , ... ... fractures. Almost half never recover well enough to live an independent lifestyle and, even ... , A new discovery by doctors at the University of California Davis Medical ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... UK (PRWEB) , ... August 10, 2017 , ... ... a new educational webinar to demonstrate how Good Clinical Practice (GCP) can ... site documents. In addition the webinar will discuss the importance of GCP compliance, how ...
Breaking Biology Technology: