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research-and-clinical-trials

For dogs, sole gene doesn’t equate to cancer

If you’re a dog lover, we have some good news. It turns out that a better understanding of the mechanisms behind aging and cancer could reduce the number of canines over the age of 10 that die from cancer each year. A better understanding of those same mechanisms may even yield big news for humans down the road.

Recently, University of Minnesota researchers made a surprising discovery about one gene implicated in canine aging. Their finding centered around a gene known as “TERT.”

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research-and-clinical-trials

Kidney stone insight in dogs could boost relief for humans, too

Chances are, you know someone who’s had a kidney stone. The rock-like masses of calcium oxalate can be painful – and worse, can come back time and time again. As many as one in 10 people will develop a kidney stone during their lifetime.

Today, scientists know the biggest risk factor for kidney stones is genetics. However, just which genes passed from parent to child can claim responsibility for yielding the stones down the road isn’t yet known.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Sequencing a turkey’s genome

Health Talk took a break from Thanksgiving meal preparation yesterday to talk turkey with University of Minnesota expert Kent Reed, Ph.D.

Reed is an evolutionary biologist and animal geneticist with the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He’s helped sequence upwards of 90 percent of the turkey genome with the Turkey Genome Mapping Project and is now working to characterize the turkey genome’s precursor: the turkey transcriptome.

Here’s what he has to say about your holiday centerpiece…

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research-and-clinical-trials

New research expands understanding of sexual differentiation

Sexual differentiation is a major part of development for nearly all organisms, and scientists have long known the transformer 1 (tra-1) gene controls all difference between the sexes in the nematode C. elegans, a simple animal that has provided an important model of how other more complicated animals develop.

Though TRA-1 does not regulate sex in humans, it is related to the GLI, the family of genes that are important in human development and cancer.

Still, nearly four decades after the discovery of tra-1, scientists do not know much about what genes it controls to actually accomplish that task.

Now, new research from the University of Minnesota, in collaboration with the lab of Jason Lieb, Ph.D., at University of North Carolina, may shed some light on the topic.

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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M research uncovers gene’s contribution to asthma susceptibility

Finding provides momentum for future research and understanding

New research from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has uncovered the role gene ORMDL3 plays in the disease asthma. ORMDL3, a gene recently linked to asthma susceptibility, has now been linked to the body’s ability to recruit inflammatory cells during an airway allergic reaction. Study findings appear today in the journal Nature Communications.

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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M collaborates with more than 20 research institutions to identify new genes associated with fatal lung disease

University of Minnesota Genomics Center (UMGC) researchers collaborated with more than 20 national and international research institutions to identify a number of genetic markers associated with idiopathic interstitial pneumonia (IIP), a serious and often fatal lung disease with a poorly understood cause. Although there are several variants of IIP, the preponderance of patients in the current study suffered from interstitial pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), the most common and severe IIP.

These genetic locations (loci) led to the identification of neighboring genes proposed to be involved in the cause and/or progression of the disease. Researchers believe these discoveries will move them closer to more effective treatments.

These findings were recently published in Nature Genetics.

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