An international team of researchers has conducted the first study of its kind to look at genomic underpinnings of obesity in continental Africans and African Americans. They discovered that approximately 1 percent of West Africans, African Americans and others of African ancestry carry a genomic variant that increases their risk of obesity and provides insight into why obesity clusters in families. The were published March 13, 2017, in the journal Obesity.
The National Institutes of Health plans to expand its Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Project, a fundamental genomics resource used by many scientists to study human health and disease. Funded NHGRI, a part of the NIH, the ENCODE Project strives to catalog all genes and regulatory elements - the parts of the genome that control whether genes are active or not - in humans and select model organisms. Four years of additional support will build on a long-standing commitment to developing freely available genomics resources for use by the scientific community.
National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a novel role for a gene known as heat shock protein 60 (Hsp60), finding that it is critical in tissue regeneration and wound healing. The study found that topical treatment of an Hsp60-containing gel dramatically accelerates wound closure in a diabetic mouse model.
For the first time, NIH researchers have demonstrated in mice that gene therapy may be the best method for correcting the single faulty gene that causes Niemann-Pick disease, type C1 (NPC1), a rare and fatal disorder of the central nervous system. The study, led by researchers at NIH's National Human Genome Research Institute and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, was published Oct. 26, 2016, in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.