DNA

Health researchers in Indiana are knocking on doors to collect surveys and DNA samples. A growing number of studies factor in zip code when considering health outcomes.
Jill Sheridan/IPB News

When health researchers make headlines, it’s often for a sensational project – like manipulating genes to create a baby. But others are examining broader issues, including how – and where – you live affects your health.

Health researchers in Indiana are knocking on doors to collect surveys – and DNA samples. A growing number of studies factor in zip code when considering health outcomes.

It's becoming routine for cancer doctors to order a detailed genetic test of a patient's tumor to help guide treatment, but often those results are ambiguous. Researchers writing in Science Translational Medicine Wednesday say there's a way to make these expensive tests more useful.

Here's the issue: These genomic tests scan hundreds or even thousands of genes looking for mutations that cause or promote cancer growth. In the process, they uncover many mutations that scientists simply don't know how to interpret — some may be harmless.

Precision Medicine Puts Lung Cancer In Its Sights

Nov 21, 2014
lung cancer scan
Balazs Halmos/Columbia University Medical Center

In the clinic where Balazs Halmos, MD, treats patients twice a week, individuals who have been smokers confront their diagnosis with a sense of guilt, while those with advanced diagnoses believe they have been given a death sentence and think clinicians throw toxic treatments at them to no real effect.

It's Not Always The DNA

Nov 17, 2014
Hani Zaher

Damage to DNA is an issue for all cells, particularly in cancer, where the mechanisms that repair damage typically fail. The same agents that damage DNA also damage its sister molecule messenger RNA (mRNA), which ferries transcripts of the genes to the tens of thousands of ribosomes in each cell. But little attention has been paid to this damage.

Whether they admit it or not, many (if not most) scientists secretly hope to get a call in October informing them they've won a Nobel Prize.

But I've talked to a lot of Nobel laureates, and they are unanimous on one point: None of them pursued a research topic with the intention of winning the prize.

IU School of Medicine

 

INDIANAPOLIS -- More than 160 institutions were involved in an international project, published today in the journal Nature, proving that the age at which girls reach sexual maturity can be influenced by either parent. This is the first time it has been shown that imprinted genes -- a process of temporarily silencing the genes of one parent -- can control the rate of development after birth.

Scientists from many areas of biology are flocking to a technique that allows them to work inside cells, making changes in specific genes far faster — and for far less money — than ever before.

Sound Medicine: December 2, 2007

Dec 2, 2007

Topics for this week include: Door-to-Door HIV Treatment; DNA Analysis for Health?; Families With AIDS in Kenya; Healthy Holiday Cooking; Medical Tourism Boom