Genetics News

Nicotine Metabolism May Show Best Route to Quit

January 20th, 2015
If you are trying to quit smoking, knowing the rate at which your body metabolizes nicotine may be the key to success, according to new research from the University of Toronto. The study findings may eventually lead to personalized cessation treatments which ...

Gene Deficiency Triggers Autistic Symptoms in Mice

January 20th, 2015
New findings strongly associate a certain gene with autistic symptoms. Autism is a highly heritable disorder, with up to 90 percent likelihood of both identical twins having the condition. Mutations in the NRXN2 gene, which makes a protein called alpha-neurexin II, have previously ...

Two Genes May Boost Risk for PTSD

January 13th, 2015
Researchers have linked two gene variants to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The findings, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, may help explain why some people develop PTSD after a traumatic experience while others do not. "Many people suffer with ...

‘Sensitive’ Gene Plus Early Stress May Lead to Mental Health Disorders

January 8th, 2015
Researchers from Duke University have identified a gene variant linked to extreme sensitivity in children. They found that children with this gene who also live in high-risk environments are far more likely to develop mental health disorders and substance abuse problems as ...

Hunt for Depression Genes Presses On Despite Slow Start

January 8th, 2015
Despite the unraveling of the human genome and genomewide analysis techniques, it continues to be difficult to identify genetic factors affecting risk for depression. Nevertheless, researchers believe depression is heritable and that larger studies are necessary to help to solve the puzzle. These ...

‘Machine-Learning’ Scans Genomic Database for Autism Clues

January 7th, 2015
In an effort to better analyze a huge genomic database for autism-related genes, a team of engineers have teamed up with autism researchers to develop a “machine learning” program. So far, the method has identified several genes that help scientists better understand ...

Mom’s Prenatal Exercise Can Improve Child’s Health

January 6th, 2015
Emerging research suggests the exercise habits of expecting mothers can possibly lower a child's chances of high blood pressure. The Michigan State University study is the first to suggest that the exercise habits of expecting moms could possibly lower a child's chances of ...

Genetic Mutations Linked to Specific Autism Symptoms

December 27th, 2014
Researchers have found that the wide variety of symptoms found in people with autism can be traced back to certain genetic mutations, with the more damaging mutations leading to worse disease outcomes. Their findings are published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The study, ...

Nature, Nurture Both Figure Into Antisocial Behavior

December 13th, 2014
If you happen to carry a particular variant for one of three common genes (whether you carry just one or all three), you may be more likely to engage in antisocial behavior, but only if you were exposed to an abusive or ...

Brain Inflammation Appears to Be Common in Autism

December 11th, 2014
In the brains of people with autism, microglial cells (a type of support cell) appear to be constantly activated, with genes for inflammation responses perpetually turned on, according to a new collaborative study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and ...