Figure 1. Cardiac imaging techniques, such as echocardiograms and cardiac MRI, allow us to view the structure of the heart in order to diagnose and monitor heart disease.

New Model Predicts How Genetics Affects Heart Structure

By Gene Yang ’19 Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect in the world. This broad group of genetic conditions affect the heart’s structure and function in different ways, with symptoms ranging from harmless to fatal. However, very little is known about how a human’s genetic makeup affects cardiovascular development. A recent study, which constructed a model that predicts correlations between genetics and … Continue reading New Model Predicts How Genetics Affects Heart Structure

Figure 1: DNA Fountain allows data to be stored in DNA more densely with reliable retrieval.

Data Storage on DNA

Meghan Bialt-DeCelie – ’19 Scientists have explored the concept of data storage in DNA, one of the most fundamental biological molecules to living things. According to the Shannon information capacity, a nucleotide can ideally contain 2 bits of data. However, DNA does not currently have this capacity due to difficulties and errors associated with high GC content and areas with long runs of the same … Continue reading Data Storage on DNA

Figure 1. Mammalian brains can be influenced by non-genetic and Allele-Specific expression

Mammalian Brain Affected by Non-Genetic and Allele-Specific Expression

By Rideeta Raquib ’19 The brain is a complex organ that is constantly being impacted by genetic and epigenetic factors. Mental illness patients are usually heterozygous in terms of inheriting one mutant allele. The random inactivation of the X-chromosome and genomic imprinting influences brain architecture and risk of disease. Studies on neuropsychiatric disorders uncovered a spectrum of data regarding the epigenetic dynamics of such dysfunction. … Continue reading Mammalian Brain Affected by Non-Genetic and Allele-Specific Expression

Genetic Vulnerability in Alzheimer’s Disease

by Richard Liang ’18   Alzheimer’s disease is a major neurodegenerative condition, with individuals usually developing symptoms at ages above 65. Symptoms include impaired memory, speech, and other mental functions. Alzheimer’s has shown a correlation with increasing aggregates of Amyloid-β plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). However, it is difficult to predict whether and at what time these plaques and tangles will be expressed in an individual. … Continue reading Genetic Vulnerability in Alzheimer’s Disease

Predicting Your Child’s Likelihood to Succeed

by Julia Newman (’19) The Journal of Molecular Psychiatry recently published research that suggests a factor of predictability in children’s educational achievement. Previous studies have assumed that variances among children’s school performances may be explained by one large difference in their genetic makeup, but Dr. Selzam and his team of researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience in London found that it is … Continue reading Predicting Your Child’s Likelihood to Succeed

The Origin of Dogs Traces Back to Two Separate Locations

by Jenna Mallon (’18) Although it is a common fact that domestic dogs originated from wolves, there are still speculations concerning the geographical and temporal origins of man’s best friend. There are disagreements over when and where dogs were domesticated. Despite evidence that points to the Paleolithic Era, some archeologists argue that dogs could have been independently domesticated in two separate regions: Eastern and Western … Continue reading The Origin of Dogs Traces Back to Two Separate Locations

Parental phenotype may affect offspring phenotype

By Shannon Bohman ’19 An individual’s genotype, composed of the maternal and paternal’s genomes, is expressed physically as a phenotype.  A team of Netherland geneticists found that the phenotype of an offspring depends partly on the environmental factors experienced by his or her parents. One species in which such transgenerational effects are evident is Arabidopsis thaliana, a plant species whose small genome and short generation … Continue reading Parental phenotype may affect offspring phenotype