Navigation Links
Suggesting genes' friends, Facebook-style

Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), both in Heidelberg, Germany, have developed a new method that uncovers the combined effects of genes. Published online today in Nature Methods, it helps understand how different genes can amplify, cancel out or mask each others' effects, and enables scientists to suggest genes that interfere with each other in much the same manner that facebook suggests friends.

To understand the connections between genetic make-up and traits like disease susceptibility, scientists have been turning to genome-wide association studies, in which they compare genetic variants of people with a particular disease to those of healthy people. Such studies have linked many genes to diseases, but these links were often weak and not clear-cut, possibly because individual genes often do not act alone. The effects of a particular gene can depend on what other genes a person carries, and the new method developed by the teams of Wolfgang Huber at EMBL and Michael Boutros at DKFZ enables scientists to uncover and measure those combined effects.

The scientists took a set of genes that are important for cell signalling and, using a technique called RNA interference, silenced those genes two at a time, and compared the effect to what happens when you silence only one or the other member of each pair. In so doing, they were able to identify a new component in a cell-signalling process known as the Ras pathway, which is involved in cellular proliferation, and is known to go awry in tumour cells.

If two people have many friends in common on facebook, the odds are that those two people know each other even if they themselves are not facebook friends. Similarly, genes that have similar genetic interaction profiles are likely to influence each other's effects, and Huber, Boutros and colleagues can now suggest such 'friends' i.e. genes that are likely to affect the same cellular processes. In the long run, this could help predict patient outcomes and adapt treatments for diseases such as cancer.


Contact: Sonia Furtado
European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Related biology news :

1. £2 million study to reveal workings of dementia genes
2. Jefferson scientists deliver toxic genes to effectively kill pancreatic cancer cells
3. NIHs Genes, Environment and Health Initiative adds 6 studies
4. Scientist plans to test for blood pressure genes affected by age
5. Fishy future written in the genes
6. New tool probes function of rice genes
7. Brainy genes, not brawn, key to success on mussel beach
8. Researchers continue to find genes for type 1 diabetes
9. Genes that control cell death fingered in age-related hearing loss
10. Mapping a clan of mobile selfish genes
11. NJIT professor finds engineering technique to identify disease-causing genes
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Suggesting genes' friends, Facebook-style
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   Growing need ... analytical tools has been paving the way for ... determination of discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, ... being predominantly used in medical applications, however, their ... sectors due to continuous emphasis on improving product ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... , Nov. 10, 2015 ... behavioral biometrics that helps to identify and verify ... Signature is considered as the secure and accurate ... identification of a particular individual because each individual,s ... accurate results especially when dynamic signature of an ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... , November 4, 2015 ... new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Home Security ... Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global home security ... 30.3 bn by 2022. The market is estimated to ... period from 2015 to 2022. Rising security needs among ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced Dr. Bruce Clarke, of ... since 1961, the USGA Green Section Award recognizes an individual’s distinguished service to the ... of Iselin, N.J., is an extension specialist of turfgrass pathology in the department of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering ... premier annual events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: 2015 Annual Meeting. The conference took place ... the largest number of attendees in more than a decade. , “The ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy ... Special Interest Group (SIG), MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the ... last few years. Many AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Twist Bioscience, a company focused ... Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief executive officer, will present ... December 1, 2015 at 3:10 p.m. Eastern Time at The ... --> --> ... Bioscience is on Twitter. Sign up to follow ...
Breaking Biology Technology: