Posts tagged protein
After asking students during a lesson on mutations if it is possible that a mutation in DNA could be good, most students will nod yes without much understanding. Recently, I finally had one student raise his hand immediately and answer the question (with extreme surprise that no other students were blurting out the answer)…”evolution!” He was able to make the connection between changes in DNA that are building up over time, and how that change can possibly make that organism better in some way. If it helps the survival of an organism, that mutation is going to stick around and More >
Gene therapy is a technique that offers the potential to replace defective copies of genes in any genetic disease with an intact version. While the idea of this treatment sounds alluring, the actual practice of it is a whole other story. There are a few drawbacks to this technique that must be considered, including the potential risk of an immune response because the gene is inserted with the use of a virus, which the immune system will see as foreign. Also, most patients so far have needed multiple treatments over the course of their lifetime, estimating to cost much more More >
Fragile X Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS) is among the most prevalent heritable neurodegenerative disorders. Its symptoms usually develop in men 50 years of age or older and include tremors in arms and hands, balance problems (ataxia), numbness in the extremities, mood instability, short-term memory loss, and gradual intellectual decline. The prevalence of FXTAS is about 2-5 persons per 10,000 in the general population.
The underlying cause for FXTAS is a mutation in the gene for Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP), which is located on the X-chromosome; its protein product, Pur-α is essential for normal neural function. Scientists have recently determined the three-dimensional structure More >