Tag Archives: human

Hereditary disease genes found throughout the human body

Hereditary disease genes found throughout the human body (Credit: Victoria Pickering/Flickr)

Hereditary disease genes found throughout the human body (Credit: Victoria Pickering/Flickr)

Main Point:

A new study published in PLOS Computational Biology shows that genes associated with hereditary diseases occur throughout the human body.

Study Further:

The study, by Esti Yeger-Lotem et al., used network biology to model the interactions between proteins associated with diseases such as Parkinson’s in different tissues. Using these networks, they show that proteins carrying the disease are found throughout the body.

In tissues vulnerable to hereditary diseases, the networked proteins had unique interactions relevant for the mechanism of the disease. Disease causing genes tend to be more highly expressed. The authors demonstrated through several examples that tissue-specific protein interaction can highlight disease mechanisms, and thus, owing to their small number, provide a powerful filter for interrogating the origins of disease.

These results offer a powerful filter that can enhance the search for new therapeutic targets for many hereditary diseases.


Barshir R, Shwartz O, Smoly IY, Yeger-Lotem E (2014) Comparative Analysis of Human Tissue Interactomes Reveals Factors Leading to Tissue-Specific Manifestation of Hereditary Diseases. PLoS Comput Biol 10(6): e1003632. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003632 http://www.ploscompbiol.org/article/info:doi/pcbi.1003632 Continue reading

Language ‘evolution’ may shed light on human migration out-of-Beringia

Main Point:

New analysis reveals relationship between Siberian, North American languages.

Published in:


Study Further:

Evolutionary analysis applied to the relationship between North American and Central Siberian languages may indicate that people moved out from the Bering Land Bridge, with some migrating back to central Asia and others into North America, according to a paper published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on March 12, 2014 by Mark Sicoli, from Georgetown University and Gary Holton from University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Continue reading

Connectedness, human use of buildings shape indoor bacterial communities

Genetic sequencing exposes diversity of microbial biodiversity in buildings.

The location, connectedness, and human use patterns in a building may influence the types of bacteria they house, according to a study published in PLOS ONE on January 29, 2014 by Steven Kembel from the University of Québec in Montréal, Canada and colleagues.

Humans spend a majority of their time in buildings, which have their own ecosystems of microorganisms. Microbes living in and on buildings or people may play a critical role in human health and wellbeing. To understand how design choices and human use influence the bacteria in the building, researchers collected microbiological, architectural, and environmental data in 155 rooms in a 4- story multiuse classroom and office building on the University of Oregon campus. They used filtered vacuum cleaners to collect dust in offices, classrooms, hallways, bathrooms, and storage closets and genetically sequenced the bacteria. Continue reading

Size of opening for light in eye can change with imagination

Eye (Credit: Gaelg/Flickr)Main Point:

Researchers have found that the size of opening for light in our eye (pupil) changes even if we are only thinking of bright and dark objects and/or scenes.

Published in:

Psychological Science

Study Further:

“Visual imagery is a private and subjective experience which is not accompanied by strongly felt or visible physiological changes,” explained psychological scientist and lead researcher Bruno Laeng of the University of Oslo. “It is a particularly difficult topic to research, as years of controversy about the nature of mental imagery testifies.” Continue reading