Revealing surprising answers to a long-standing enigma about the brain target of the anti-obesity hormone leptin, neuroscientists at Tufts University School of Medicine have used CRISPR genome editing to identify a neural circuit in the hypothalamus as the primary mechanism in mediating leptin's anti-obesity and anti-diabetes effects and have identified two distinct mechanisms underlying leptin's inhibition of appetite.
Genetics is a crapshoot. During sexual reproduction, genes from both the mother and the father mix and mingle to produce a genetic combination unique to each offspring. In most cases, the chromosomes line up properly and crossover. In some unlucky cases, however, "selfish DNA" enters the mix, causing abnormal crossovers with deletions or insertions in chromosomes, which can manifest as birth defects.
Researchers at Oxford University have shown that it is possible to identify genetic catalysts that accelerate the evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria - and that this knowledge could be used to design treatments to stifle the development of resistance.
We inherit many traits from our parents including the color of our eyes and hair. Unfortunately, we also inherit risk factors for certain diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Understanding those genetic connections can help prevention efforts and develop new life-saving treatments to combat these diseases.
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