London, Canada (SPX) Mar 30, 2011
Just like snowflakes, no two people are alike, even if they're identical twins according to new genetic research from The University of Western Ontario.
Molecular geneticist Shiva Singh has been working with psychiatrist Dr. Richard O'Reilly to determine the genetic sequencing of schizophrenia using identical or monozygotic twins. The study is published in this month's PLoS ONE.
Singh looked at about one million markers of identical twins (and their two parents) where only one twin had schizophrenia.
"The most informative feature of schizophrenia is that it sometimes runs in the family. So, for example, the risk of developing schizophrenia is much higher if your brother, sister, mother or father have the disease," says Singh, noting in the general population about one percent have schizophrenia.
"We started with the belief that monozygotic twins are genetically identical, so if one member of identical twins has schizophrenia, then the risk for the other twin should be 100 percent, if it's all due to genes.
However, studies over the years have shown that the risk of the disease in both twins is only 50 percent." That means either the twins are genetically not identical or the familial disease involves non-genetic (random) effects.
Singh and his team have now demonstrated that the monozygotic twins are not genetically identical. "So if schizophrenia is in the genes, then the difference in the genetic makeup of monozygotic twins, with only one disease twin, must have something to do with the disease."
Singh found about 12 per cent of DNA can vary across individuals, "Cells are dividing as we develop and differentiate. More importantly, these cells may lose or acquire additional DNA. The genome is not static."
Dr. O'Reilly hopes this research will lead to better understanding and improved treatments for schizophrenia. "If we had a genetic test for schizophrenia, it could be applied early in the disease when it's hard to make that diagnosis," says Dr. O'Reilly.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
University of Western Ontario
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here
Pittsburgh PA (SPX) Mar 30, 2011
There are billions of neurons in the brain and at any given time tens of thousands of these neurons might be trying to send signals to one another. Much like a person trying to be heard by his friend across a crowded room, neurons must figure out the best way to get their message heard above the din. Researchers from the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, a joint program between Car ... read more
Japan's atomic plant neighbours mull leaving homes|
Insurance market Lloyd's 2010 profits tumble
Japan mulls draping fabric over reactors: report
Cost of disasters tripled in 2010: Swiss Re
UN atomic watchdog raises alarm over Japan evacuations
Cancer Risk Of Backscatter Airport Scanners Is Low
IAEA worried about radiation in Japan village
Taiwan fair to see 100 tablet launches: organisers
Police, protesters clash over China dam
First Broad-Scale Maps Of Life On The Sea-Shelf
Dolphin toll from BP oil spill far higher: study
ADB and OPEC Fund aid Sierra Leone water project
Antarctic Icebergs Play A Previously Unknown Role In Global Carbon Cycle, Climate
Study Sheds Light On How Heat Is Transported To Greenland Glaciers
Large-Scale Assessment Of Arctic Ocean Show Significant Increase In Freshwater Content
Study: 2011 arctic ice extent is down
Good wheat harvest expected in Pakistan, despite floods
Local, Diversified Food Production Needed To Curb Food Price Crisis
Ants And Termites Boost Dryland Wheat Yields
Japan urges trading partners not to overreact on food safety
Thai floods kill 15 dead, thousands stranded
Climate Modelling And The Rain
Deep-Sea Volcanoes Explode
Namibia declares state of emergency after flooding
Africa turns to cellphones for better health
A New Scramble For African Riches - Its Consumers
Sudan president heads to Qatar amid Darfur violence
Burkina Faso soldiers freed from prison after protests
Research Proves No 2 Of Us Are Alike, Even Identical Twins
Researchers Detail How Neurons Decide How To Transmit Information
Rare gene defect affects both pain, smell
A New Evolutionary History Of Primates
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|