According to a report by WHO, cancer is the second most significant factor that claims lives globally. It was responsible for almost 8.8 million deaths in 2015 and nearly 1 in 6 deaths occurring globally is due to cancer. Imagine a world where people no longer suffer from cancer. Biologists could be closer than ever to find the answer to cancer and other life-threatening diseases due to breakthroughs in the last decade. Genetics is at the heart of it.
WHAT IS GENETIC SCIENCE?
Genetic science is related to the study of the genome, the blueprint of life. The study of genes began in the 19th century with the scientist Gregor Mendel observing the phenomenon of trait inheritance. His study was focused on finding out how the genetic attributes are passed on from parents to their progeny. The function and composition of genes to gain a better understanding of the science involved. Genetic engineering has led to major progress in areas of healthcare and disease prevention
saving millions of lives including other fields like crop production and selective breeding. By studying the human genome, genetic scientists and biologists have made breakthroughs that could transform our lives in ways we couldn’t imagine.
13 NEW GENES RELATED
TO HEART DISEASE
An international squad of healthcare experts recently discovered 13 new genes associated with cardiovascular disease. A study by the WHO reveals that 17 million people die annually due to heart disease which suggests that it’s the most potent category of disease globally. Scientists believe that apart from stress, smoking and drinking, genetics are also a crucial factor contributing to the disease. With these new findings, healthcare experts are hoping to
discover promising therapeutic mechanisms that will provide useful insights for prevention and possible treatment.
13 NEW GENES RELATED
TO HEART DISEASE
An international squad of healthcare experts recently discovered 13 new genes associated with cardiovascular disease. A study by the WHO reveals that 17 million people die annually due to heart disease which suggests that it’s the most potent category of disease globally. Scientists believe that apart from stress, smoking and drinking, genetics are also a crucial factor contributing to the disease. With these new findings, healthcare experts are hoping to discover promising therapeutic mechanisms that will provide useful insights for prevention and possible treatment.
5 GENES FOR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE IDENTIFIED
As part of the world’s largest genetic science research, scientists from Cardiff University were able to identify five new genes related to Alzheimer’s. These were reported to increase the risk of developing the cognitive disease, in addition to five genes discovered earlier. The study included a sample of 20,000 people with the disease and 40,000 non-affected participants who were tested for gene identification. These findings can help find solutions to address the harmful effects of the genes, reducing the number of affected individuals in the future.
MUTATIONS IN MCF2L
Recent discoveries in the mutations of genetic link MCFL2 could lead to a possible treatment mechanism for those affected with osteoarthritis. The draining illness is said to impact 40% of individuals over the age of 70, while 27 million people in the US are also suffering from the malady. Researchers working on the The 1000 Genomes Project were able to identify a third gene that showed a link with osteoarthritis by screening a huge sample of almost 50,000 people. Experts at the Sanger Institute believe that it’s a complex disease with various genetic reasons and the discovery of the new gene could pave the way for possible treatments.
GENES FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
According to a publication by Nature, researchers discovered 29 new genes associated with the inflammatory disease, multiple sclerosis (MS). This is known to affect the cognitive system, impairing communication between the spinal cord and nerve cells in the brain. The study consisted of twenty-three healthcare groups from 15 nations who found the identified genes play a strong role in the progression of the disease. With the discovery, biologists are hoping to conduct further probes into the MS-genetic link for effective solutions to counteract the disease.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF GENETICS LOOK LIKE?
Today, there are more than 4,000 identified single gene conditions that impact 1% of infants globally. New discoveries in genetic science will help invent cures for deadly diseases and life-limiting conditions like MS, cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease. Gene editing can help prevent the passing on of these inherited diseases and help discover cures for cancer in the coming years as indicated by Leading doc.
As the late Stephen Hawking said, “With genetic engineering, we will be able to increase the complexity of our DNA and improve the human race. But it will be a slow process, because one will have to wait about 18 years to see the effect of changes to the genetic code”. With groundbreaking discoveries in genes that are linked with cancer, the future could possibly entail a world without it.