genes

Happiness genes discovered

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happy woman

Why are some people happier than others? It is likely a major factor is genetic. Happiness genes have been found for the first time. In a study of 298,000 people.

The researchers found three genetic variants for happiness, two variants that can account for differences in symptoms of depression, and eleven locations on the human genome that could account for varying degrees of neuroticism. The genetic variants for happiness are mainly expressed in the central nervous system and the adrenal glands and pancreatic system.

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The genetics of inherited cancers - Identification and management of known or suspected cancer predisposition gene mutation carriers

The genetics of inherited cancers - Identification and management of known or suspected cancer predisposition gene mutation carriers

Cancer genetic counselling

This involves assessment of cancer risk, discussion of screening and management options, and the offer of genetic testing if appropriate.

The genetics of inherited cancers - Chromosome fragility syndromes

The genetics of inherited cancers - Chromosome fragility syndromes

All these syndromes are autosomal recessive and they cause other abnormalities of phenotype, such as short stature, autoimmune and immunodeficiency disease, and other features. Although they are very rare they are important as such patients are sensitive to DNA-damaging agents, which is an important consideration when treating the associated cancers with such agents.

The genetics of inherited cancers - Genetic predisposition to the common cancers

The genetics of inherited cancers - Genetic predisposition to the common cancers - technical

Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common noncutaneous cancer in women in the Western world. Several genes predispose to high risks of breast cancer, most notably BRCA1 and BRCA2 (breast cancer 1 and 2 genes) which were isolated in 1994 and 1995. These genes, when mutated, also predispose to ovarian cancer, and also have a small (<10%) risk of causing other cancers (e.g. pancreas, bile duct, melanoma, male breast cancer, prostate cancer).

The genetics of inherited cancers - Inheritance, mechanisms of cancer predisposition, and the retinoblastoma story

The genetics of inherited cancers - Inheritance, mechanisms of cancer predisposition, and the retinoblastoma story - technical

Inheritance of germ-line mutations in cancer predisposition genes may be either dominant, recessive, or X-linked. We all carry two copies (alleles) of every gene, one copy from each parent, and as only one allele can be passed down to the next generation, there is a 50:50 chance as to which allele we inherit.

The nature and development of cancer - Tumour suppressor genes

The nature and development of cancer - Tumour suppressor genes - technical

Though ultimately, oncogenic growth stimulatory activities may become dominant within malignant cells, defects in tumour suppressor genes may lead to excessive proliferation and neoplastic progression by default. Hence these genes are sometimes referred to as ‘antioncogenes’; this term implies that mutations within these genes can be the primary driving force for malignant transformation, rather than representing a suppressor response to an established tumorigenic phenotype.

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