Top 5 new findings in the genetic area 2016
Here is the list of most significant and incredible findings of 2016 in the genetic area.
1. Intelligence gene
Scientists from California have found “klotho” protein and KL-VS gene which is responsible for its production. This gene instantly got the nickname “intelligence gene” because klotho protein can improve IQ of a person by 6 points.
Moreover, this protein can be synthesized artificially and it doesn’t matter how old is this person. That means in the nearest future scientists would be able to make people smarter with scientific methods, no matter how naturally intelligent they are.
Of course, you can create a genius out of an ordinary person with this klotho protein. But what is more important – it would be possible to help people with mental disorders and those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Alzheimer’s Diseases
By the way, speaking about Alzheimer’s. It was almost impossible to determine the nature of this disease, since it was officially described in 1906. Why it occurs in one people and not in others? But recently there was a real significant break-through in this area. Japanese researchers from Osaka University found the gene, which develops Alzheimer’s disease in lab mice.
During this research a new gene klc1 was found, that promotes accumulation of beta-amyloidal protein in brain tissues, which is the most important precursor for Alzeheimer’s development. The mechanism of this process was known a long time ago, but until now nobody could explain its nature.
Tests have shown that with klc1 gene blocking, the amount of beta-amyloidal protein forming in brain reduces by 45%. Scientists hope that in the nearest future their researches would help battling the Alzheimer’s – a dangerous disease that affects millions of elder people around the world.
3. Stupidity gene
Turns out there are not only “intelligence gene”, but also “stupidity gene”. At least it’s what researchers from Emory University, Texas, think. They’ve found genetic mutation RGS14, neutralizing of which can significantly improve intellectual abilities of lab mice.
As it happens to be, blocking of RGS14 gene makes CA2 are in hippocampus more active – this is the area of the brain that is responsible for accumulation of knowledge and memory storage. Without this genetic mutation, lab mice have started to remember objects and mover around the labyrinth much better, as well as much better adapting for changes in environmental conditions.
The scientists from Texas hope that in the future they would be able to create a drug that can block RGS14 gene in already living person. That would have given people intellectual abilities never seen before, as well as cognitive abilities. But more than one decade is needed for us to see the realization of this idea.
4. Obesity gene
As many people have already predicted – obesity also has genetic reasons. In different years scientists have found genes that were responsible for excessive weight and big amount of fat gain in our body. But today the “meanest” one is IRX3.
Turns out this gene affects the BMI index. During the lab tests, researchers have found that mice with damaged IRX3 the amount of fat in their bodies is 2-times lower than in the control group. And this is despite the fact that they’ve been fed with the same amount of high-calorie food.
Further study of IRX3 genetic mutation and mechanisms of their impact on the body can create effective medicines from diabetes and obesity.
5. Happiness gene
And the most important break-through, in our opinion – the scientists from the London School of Public Health have found 5-HTTLPR, also called “happiness gene”. It is that gene that is responsible for serotonin distribution in neural cells.
Serotonin is considered the most important factor that affects the mood of person – it makes us happy or sad, depending on the external conditions. Those who have the low level of this hormone are subjected to frequent anxiety break-downs and depressions, as well as pessimism and unrest.
British scientists have also found out that so called “long” variation of 5-HTTLPR gene contributes to the better transportation of serotonin to the brain, which makes person feeling 2-times happier than the rest of the people.