The neurons in our brain can mix up their genes unlike most cells within our bodies, researchers have found. This tampering of the genome might increase the protein repertoire of the brain, but it might also trigger Alzheimer’s disease, their study recommends.
“It is possibly one of the largest discoveries in years in molecular biology,” claims a molecular biologist at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Geoffrey Faulkner, to the media in an interview. Faulkner was not linked to the research. “It’s a landmark research,” agrees Christos Proukakis, the clinical neurologist of University College London.
Researchers first found that particular cells can edit and shuffle DNA in the 1970s. Some immune cells cut out sections of genes that work for proteins, which fight or detect pathogens, and splice the rest of the pieces together to make fresh varieties. Our B cells, for instance, can possibly spawn almost 1 Quadrillion kinds of antibodies, sufficient to fend off a huge range of viruses, bacteria, and other attackers.
On a related note, a study by UT Southwestern on mice offers new hints about how a category of anti-refusal drugs employed after transplants of organ might also slow the development of early-phase Alzheimer’s illness.
Alzheimer’s, a growing type of dementia, impacts an anticipated 5 Million individuals in the U.S. This is a number anticipated to almost increase 3x by 2050. Even though Alzheimer’s normally strikes post the age of 65, alterations in the brain can start years prior to the symptoms start appearing, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The scientists researched how the links between neurons (synapses) are broken early during the disease taking place. This brakeage in link probably causes the memory and behavioral changes that take place as the disease grows, claimed corresponding author of the Science Signaling research and Chairman of Pathology, Dr. James Malter, to the media in an interview.