Friday, July 28, 2017
Turning off genes, the recent way.
Science Daily reported that scientists have discovered an amazing way to turn off genes. They experimented with mice and have uncovered this new approach towards shutting off imprinted genes. To start off, imprinted genes have affected human DNA for some time now, replicating unwanted genes which ultimately damages human beings by causing developmental and neurological disorders or worse, cancer. However, a new component towards turning off genes is by chemical tagging histones, a type of protein that aids in keeping DNA wrapped safely in the nucleus. A histone called H3K27 effectively ceases the activity of some imprinted genes in mice. Yi Zhang, an investigator from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and his colleagues had reported this in a journal called Nature. Yi Zhang says this new finding could improve children who are born with developmental disorders by assisted reproductive technologies such as vitro fertilization. Also, the issues with cloning of mammals could be explained. Mr.Zhang has great expectations with this discovery and has said that he "believes our study will open up a new field of research" Mr Zhang approach towards "silencing" the imprinted genes is by adding methyl groups to the histones. Although this discovery is a massive step towards defeating replicated genes, researchers are still learning about the imprinting process of genes being replicated. But with this significant finding, it is said that diseases such as Angelman syndrome and Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome could be reduced. Also, cloning of mammals could be less difficult in the upcoming years as well. Mr Zhang concluded by saying " The new imprinting mechanism may eventually offer a target for treating such development failures"