The Morning Briefing: Advances in Genetic research

"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-read stories from the web. This morning we're reading about breakthroughs in genetic research.

"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-read stories from the web. This morning we're reading about breakthroughs in genetic research.

1.) Scientists claim they can predict the chance of reaching 100. With up to 85 percent accuracy, scientists believe they have developed a genetic test capable of identifying DNA variants that indicate common components that contribute to longevity. This test was developed after studying the genetic information of centenarians and subsequent definition of similarities within their genes.

2.) Study suggests that there may be links between genetics and intelligence. The research conducted at the Universities of Edinburgh, Queensland and Aberdeen indicate that genetic factors may account for approximately 24 percent of changes in intelligence between childhood and old age.

3.) Gene discovery offers clues to the cause of oesophageal cancer. The gene behind a conditional that predisposes oesophageal cancer has been discovered, according to a study in part funded by Cancer Research, UK. Researchers used a 'next generation' DNA decoding machines to study the genetic make-up of people with an inherited skin condition called tylosis in order to uncover the gene.

4.) New method allows identification of mutations that lead to disease. A new computing method has been developed that finds links between molecules that are altered by genetic mutations, which in turn leads to disease. It is reported that this new computational system can be applied to any form of genetic disease, and may provide more information on how mutations alter the function of body chemicals that lead to medical conditions.

5.) Gene variant linked to prostate cancer is identified. A rare genetic code that potentially increases the risk of prostate cancer has been uncovered by U.S. researchers. The variant only accounts for a small percentage of all forms of prostate cancers, but the study found it was more common in men with an inherited form of the cancer. The research is yet to be confirmed in larger studies.

Image credit: Flickr

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