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  Headlines -  Health & life sciences - Genetic engineering

Last Update: Thu, 29 Sep 2016

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  Scientists tackle Huntington's disease by targeting mutant gene

Photo of article Huntington's disease is an inherited, neurodegenerative disorder that usually appears in mid-adult life and leads to uncoordinated body movements and cognitive decline. The disease is due to multiple repetitions of a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence (i.e. the nucleotides CAG) in the gene encoding the 'Huntingtin' protein. This sequence is present more than 35 times in patients suffering from this disease, while it is repeated 10 to 29 times in healthy patients. In a recent study, published in the journal PNAS, researchers in Spain succeeded in reducing the chromosomal expression of the mutant gene, which could potentially hinder disease development. The study was supported by a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant to Dr. Mark Isalan from the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Spain, worth more than EUR 1.32 million under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

Published: 5 November 2012


  Scientists investigate genetics of HIV-1 resistance

Photo of article Investigating the genetic footprint that drug resistance causes in HIV, researchers in Europe have discovered that compensatory polymorphisms enable resistant viruses to survive. Presented in the journal Retrovirology, the study was supported in part by three EU-funded projects: VIROLAB, EURESIST and CHAIN. Both the VIROLAB ('A virtual laboratory for decision support in viral diseases treatment') and EURESIST ('Integration of viral genomics with clinical data to predict response to anti-HIV treatment') projects were funded under the 'Information society technologies' (IST) Thematic area of the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) to the tune of EUR 3.3 million and EUR 2.1 million, respectively. CHAIN ('Collaborative HIV and anti-HIV drug resistance network') has received almost EUR 10 million under the Health Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

Published: 24 October 2012



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