Fralin entomologists map out the genetics behind a deadly disease
(Medical Xpress)—Stopping the spread of dengue infection— a potentially fatal tropical disease transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito— could be one of the biggest challenges of our time. About half of the human population is at risk for this disease, and threat levels are on the rise in the United States due to increased international travel and an ideal climate for mosquitoes in humid, hot areas such as Florida.
Symptoms of dengue fever, according to the Centers for Disease Control, are severe headache; bleeding; and severe muscle, joint, or eye pain.
The key to zapping the disease's transmission is the careful mapping of the mosquito's genome, according to Virginia Tech entomologist Maria Sharakhova, a research scientist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the principal investigator of a study published in February in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Sharakhova and her research team developed a 'master map' of the mosquito's genome that allows scientists to view the locale of genes contributing to the trait of dengue transmission. Unlike previous studies attempting to map genes, this technique allows researchers to view multiple "unrelated" locations in a few major chromosome clusters.
"The map suggests a possibility that the same genes control the transmission of different pathogens, which would allow us to find and control these genes much more efficiently," said Igor Sharakhov, a coauthor of the paper and an associate professor of entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences affiliated with the Fralin Life Science Institute.
"This is a landmark study. Prior to the work of Sharakhova and Sharakhov, the Aedes aegypti genome was woefully incomplete. It was like a mixed-up jigsaw puzzle with no order and no logic," said Leslie Vosshall, the Robin Chemers Neustein Professor of Neurogenetics and Behavior at The Rockefeller University, who did not participate in the study. "These scientists have created the important foundations of a complete genetic map, something that is needed to progress to the next set of crucial experiments with this major disease vector. A genetic map is a blueprint that allows scientists to map traits to genes and this paper now allows us to attempt this in this mosquito."
"This project is a true tour de force and it is now only a matter of time to obtain the full DNA sequence of the three large chromosomes to catapult research into new directions and high-resolution detail for this important mosquito," said Jeffrey Powell, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University, who also did not participate in the study.
The map may also help curb other diseases transmitted by Aedes aegypti, such as yellow fever that leads to a liver disease, and lymphatic filariasis, which caused by a worm that leads to the disease elephantiasis.
More information: www.plosntds.org/a… pntd.0002052
Journal reference: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Provided by Virginia Tech
- Brazil to breed GM mosquitoes to combat dengue Jul 10, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Dengue virus turns on mosquito genes that make them hungrier Mar 29, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers determine how mosquitoes survive dengue virus infection Feb 13, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- First big dengue fever outbreak in Europe since 1920s, EU reports Nov 21, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- WHO: Dengue showing global 'epidemic potential' Jan 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
As the world prepares for what may be the next pandemic strain of influenza virus, in the H7N9 bird flu, a new UC Irvine study reveals that the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic was deadliest for people under the age of 65, while ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The World Health Organization says the Horn of Africa is experiencing an outbreak of polio with cases confirmed in Kenya and Somalia.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A man who had contracted the coronavirus has died in Saudi Arabia, raising the death toll in the kingdom from the SARS-like virus to 17, the health ministry announced on its website on Wednesday.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new approach for immunizing against influenza elicited a more potent immune response and broader protection than the currently licensed seasonal influenza vaccines when tested in mice and ferrets. The vaccine ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Patients with underlying heart failure are more likely to experience adverse outcomes from mild hypothyroidism, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Swiss scientists reveal the mechanism responsible for aging hidden deep within mitochondria—and dramatically slow it down in worms by administering antibiotics to the young.
7 hours ago | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion—the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 2 |
Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London have led the largest sequencing study of human disease to date, investigating the genetic basis of six autoimmune diseases.
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Calorie information in fast food restaurants used by 40 percent of 9-18 year olds when making food choices
A new study published online today (Thursday) in the Journal of Public Health has found that of young people who visited fast food or chain restaurants in the U.S. in 2010, girls and youth who were obese were more likely ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Implementation of systematic monitoring for medication adherence will allow for identification of barriers to adherence and tailoring of interventions, according to a viewpoint piece published ...
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0