A recent article, found in the genetic times states that a study done by Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine students could help improve gene therapy in heart disease and cancer patients. The study involved the common cold virus known as adenovirus to be used in gene therapy because this virus does not reproduce into a disease. In gene therapy, various genes are introduced in the adenovirus and then the virus in given to the patient. The adenovirus enters the desired cells and delivers the desired genes to help treat the disease. However, in this study the scientists found that patients would have an inflammatory immune response to the virus. This gives insight to how the immune system reacts to different virus and can help future studies dealing with how the immune system reacts to certain outside influences. I found this interesting because a virus like the common cold is something that we try to get rid of because of the effects it has on our bodies but in all actualities it may actually benefits us in gene therapy. This study gives insight for many more studies to come. It makes me hopeful that scientists are still experimenting with ways to improve our world.
Such a simple saying, but it speaks the truth! We’ve always been told to eat our fruits and vegetables because they are our main source of vitamins and minerals. But what we haven’t been told until recently is that they can help change the effect of genes on heart disease! According to this article, researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre have done studies on gene 9p21 that increases the risk of heart disease. They’ve noticed that those who carry the genotype that increases the risk of heart diseases and ate an abundance of fruits and vegetables in their diet actually decreased their risk. Their risk of heart diseases was as low as those who carry the gene for a low risk of heart disease. This finding may help scientists find a link between the mechanism of the gene on our body. With that finding, hopefully ours scientists will be able to find cures for heart diseases. Now, before you go grab a bag of chips or cookies to snack on, considering swapping that with more fruits and vegetables to help keep you from visiting your doctor.
In March there were thirteen new genes discovered that cause heart disease; the world’s number one killer. These genes increase a human’s risk for heart disease. There are already ten known genes for heart disease and with all 23 known genes so far scientists can possibly use those to determine new treatments. They can also use these genes in the future to discover peoples genes and if they will have heart problems. As well as using prevention plans for people with possible heart problems in the future. We will be able to identify who will be at risk for heart disease by the use of these genes and with that information doctors can easily treat those people from being at risk. By discovering these new genes and getting closer to preventing and treating heart conditions, it will decrease the 17.1 million average deaths per year from heart disease. I think this discovery is fascinating and will help our future by preventing and treating those at risk for the world’s number one killer; heart disease.
Big macs are not the only ones to blame! An international group of scientists analyzed data from 14 previous studies, examining the complete genetic profile of 22,000 people of European descent with some kind of heart disease and 60,000 healthy individuals. The scientists found 13 gene variants that could have a link to heart disease. Seven are linked to levels of LDL cholestrol and one to hypertension. The others are not linked to any known heart disease risk factors, but they still are linked to heart disease, which leads one to think that there are new mechanisms that have yet to be discovered by scientists.
This could mean that in the future, when you go to see the doctor, performing a genetic profile might be routine. This could save millions of lives since heart disease is the number 1 killer in the world. If the gene variant is discovered in someone’s genome early, then steps can be taken to prevent that risk factor from occuring, thus lower the risk of heart disease. However, I still feel as though that the biggest way to prevent heart disease is through a healthy diet and excercise. But, sometimes even these are not enough and one of these genes could be the reason why someone might still have high cholestrol even if they eat healthy and excercise.
So, next time you have a Mac attack and you might feel a bit guilty for eating it, remember that it is not the only reason why you might get a heart attack. It could be a gene! One criticism that I do have of this study is that the people whose genetic profile were examined were all of European descent. How about those people that do not have any or very little European ancestors? What category do they fall under?