Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Scientists discover new method of gene identification

12.11.2012
Findings will help our genetic understanding of dangerous new viruses

Scientists studying the genes and proteins of human cells infected with a common cold virus have identified a new gene identification technique that could increase the genetic information we hold on animals by around 70 to 80 per cent. The findings, published in Nature Methods, could revolutionise our understanding of animal genetics and disease, and improve our knowledge of dangerous viruses such as SARS that jump the species barrier from animals to humans.

Modern advances in genome sequencing — the process of determining the genetic information and variation controlling everything from our eye colour to our vulnerability to certain diseases — has enabled scientists to uncover the genetic codes of a wide range of animals, plants and insects.

Until now, correctly identifying the genes and proteins hidden inside the genetic material of a newly sequenced species has been a monumental undertaking requiring the careful observation and cataloguing of vast amounts of data about the thousands of individual genes that make up any given animal, plant or insect.

Dr David Matthews, the study's lead author and a Senior Lecturer in Virology at the University of Bristol's School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, said: "Gene identification is mainly led by computer programmes which search the genome for regions that look like genes already identified in other animals or humans. However, this type of analysis is not always effective."

The Bristol team has now discovered a more effective way of detecting the genetic information present in animals, plants and insects using cutting-edge analysis tools to directly observe the genes and all the proteins they make.

To prove their technique worked, the researchers conducted an experiment to see how good their process was at gene discovery. Human cells were infected with a well-understood common cold bug to mimic a newly discovered virus. These infected cells were then analysed using the technique as if they were cells from a newly sequenced organism infected with a newly discovered virus.

The resulting list of "discovered" genes and proteins, when compared to the genetic information already known about humans and cold virus, proved extremely successful and demonstrated the power of this method.

A similar analysis of hamster cells provided directly observed evidence for the existence of thousands of genes and proteins in hamsters in a single relatively inexpensive experiment. Direct evidence for the existence of almost all of theses genes and proteins in hamsters is not available in the 'official' lists of hamster genes and proteins.

Dr Matthews added: "These findings open up the potential to take powerful analysis tools currently used to study human diseases and apply them to study any animal, insect or even plants – something previously either very challenging or simply not possible. This technique will also make it easier and much more efficient for scientists to study anything from farm animals and their diseases to insect pests that damage crops.

"In recent years, a number of dangerous new viruses have been transmitted from animals to humans including Influenza, SARS, Ebola, Hendra and Nipah viruses. Earlier this year three people became seriously ill and two of them died when they contracted a new SARS-like virus in the Middle East which is thought to have come directly from bats.

"Why bats harbour these viruses with limited ill effect is a mystery as the genetic make-up of these creatures is poorly understood. We are starting to apply our technique to laboratory grown bat cells to analyse the genetic and protein content of bats to gain more insight into their genetics and to understand how they are able to apparently co-exist with these viruses which all too often prove fatal in humans."

Caroline Clancy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bristol.ac.uk

Further reports about: SARS genetic code genetic information genome sequencing human cell proteins

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Epilepsy at the Molecular Level
10.02.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht The herbivore dilemma: How corn plants fights off simultaneous attacks
09.02.2016 | Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Flow phenomena on solid surfaces: Physicists highlight key role played by boundary layer velocity

Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.

The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).

Im Focus: Supraleitung: Fußbälle ohne Widerstand

Hinweise auf einen lichtinduzierten verlustfreien Stromtransport in Alkali-Fulleriden helfen bei der Suche nach supraleitenden Materialien für die Praxis.

Supraleiter bleiben einstweilen in Nischenanwendungen verbannt. Da selbst die besten dieser Materialien erst bei minus 70 Grad Celsius ihren elektrischen...

Im Focus: New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels

A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...

Im Focus: Superconductivity: footballs with no resistance

Indications of light-induced lossless electricity transmission in fullerenes contribute to the search for superconducting materials for practical applications.

Superconductors have long been confined to niche applications, due to the fact that the highest temperature at which even the best of these materials becomes...

Im Focus: "Footware Innovation" – Digitale Techniken für individuelles Schuhwerk

Sieben mittelständische Unternehmen des Orthopädiefachhandwerks, die Universität Bayreuth und die Fraunhofer-Projektgruppe Prozessinnovation in Bayreuth haben sich zum neuen Netzwerk „Footware Innovation Network (FIN)“ zusammengeschlossen. Das Netzwerk soll dem Orthopädiefachhandwerk den Nutzen digitaler Technologien vom 3D-Scan bis zum 3D-Druck erschließen, um kundenorientiert und dabei kostengünstig höchst individuelle Produkte herstellen zu können.

Praktikable Produktlösungen für das Orthopädiefachhandwerk

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

FZI Open House: IKT-Forschung für die Praxis hautnah erleben

09.02.2016 | Veranstaltungen

KIT 2016: Infektiologen und Tropenmediziner tagen in Würzburg

08.02.2016 | Veranstaltungen

11. European Bioplastics Konferenz 2016

08.02.2016 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Supraleitung: Fußbälle ohne Widerstand

09.02.2016 | Physik Astronomie

Beinahe Unmögliches aus dem 3D-Drucker

09.02.2016 | Informationstechnologie

Das große Strömen zum Licht

09.02.2016 | Biowissenschaften Chemie