Monday, October 15, 2007

All Courtesy The Genome

A discovery that should give us some more ammunition against the mutation of disease causing pathogens is RNA interference. It is an alternative RNA based approach to genetics rather than DNA.

"Once scientists abandoned their preconceived notions of genes and looked instead at individual DNA "letters" in the genome—the four bases A, C, T and G— they immediately began to see cause-and-effect connections to myriad diseases and human traits."

"scientists have identified specific alterations in the sequence of DNA that play causative roles in a broad range of common diseases, including type 1 and type 2 diabetes; schizophrenia; bipolar disorder; glaucoma; inflammatory bowel disease; rheumatoid arthritis; hypertension; restless legs syndrome; susceptibility to gallstone formation; lupus; multiple sclerosis; coronary heart disease; colorectal, prostate and breast cancer, and the pace at which HIV infection causes full-blown AIDS. Unlike so many previous "disease gene" discoveries, these findings are being replicated and validated."

"In a handful of years, your doctor may be able to run a computer analysis of your personal genome to get a detailed profile of your health.This goes well beyond merely making predictions. A new technology called RNA interference may also allow doctors to control how your DNA is "expressed," helping you circumvent potential health risks. Many common diseases that have preyed on humans for eons—devastating neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cancer—could be eradicated."

-- Excerpts from the article courtesy Indian Express

And here is a nifty animation explaining the stuff :

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