Calico Cat's Patchwork Fur May Help Humans Beat Obesity in Genetics Study
Feb 20, 2014 07:44 AM EST | By Staff Writer
Calico cats aren't just good pets. They may also reveal a bit more about human genetics--and could even help combat the obesity epidemic.
Calico cats are known for their odd mix of orange, black and white fur. While their coloration is interesting, though, what's more fascinating is the fact that calico cats are always female. The orange fur color gene is located on one of the X chromosomes while the black color gene is located on the other. This means that the random silencing of one of the X's in each cell creates their patchwork fur. Yet researchers have been unclear exactly how a cell silences a chromosome.
Like Us on Facebook
"A cell's nucleus contains the genetic code, its DNA," said Elizabeth Smith, one of the researchers, in a news release. "But while the structure of the DNA was determined more than 50 years ago, and we're rapidly determining the position of specific genes on chromosomes, no one had visualized the DNA within an intact nucleus-and unfixed hydrated whole cell. We decided to try."
The scientists used a novel imaging technology--soft x-ray tomography. This gave them high-resolution views of the intact nucleus. In fact, they were able to identify one specific chromosome, the inactive X-chromosome, of female cells.
"The inactivation of one out of two X chromosomes in females is an enormously important epigenetic process," said Smith in a news release. "Uncovering how only one X chromosome is inactivated will help explain the whole process of epigenetic control, meaning the way changes in gene activity can be inherited without changing the DNA code. It can help answer other questions such as if and how traits like obesity can be passed down through generations."
In fact, body fat distribution has been associated with X chromosomes, according to Discovery News. This means that by learning more about these chromosomes and heritability, researchers could potentially find out which people are more at risk for obesity, which could allow them to take early intervention measures.
Drinking Coffee May Arrest Multiple Sclerosis, Studies Link Several Cups Can Halt Disease- New Study Reveals
Coffee...it's almost everyone's favorite. Coffee is like a booster that makes one get on with the day. It could be addictive that a cup of coffee is not enough. How do you enjoy your steaming hot Joe? What's more amazing with your favorite drink is that now you have more reasons to drink it.
Chicken Campylobacter: More Supermarkets In UK Found To Be Contaminated With Toxic Chicken Campylobacter
Chicken Campylobacter has caused alarming concern as the numbers of contaminated chickens continue to rise in the UK. Chicken Campylobacter becomes the top cause of bacterial gastrointestinal disease in Britain.
Over the last few days, the world has become a stir after the Purina Beneful scandal came to light, as a recent lawsuit says that Purina, the second largest pet food company in the world, has a product that has been making pets sick and even ultimately killing them.
Just today, February 25, 2015, Yahoo! Food posts the secret weapon ingredients used by Star Chefs to achieve the most palatable dishes at home or in a restaurant. The said website revealed the top 10 magical ingredients that can turn home-cooked meals into top class restaurant tastes.
For those who love to have a nice glass of wine or beer during the weekends - which is just about everyone or almost -, there's a new way to keep the guessing out of the way you choose what to drink: the Next Glass app chooses drinks according to what you love!
U.S. Consumers, Ready To Accept Genetically Modified, Nanotech Products If It Is Healthy And Safe, New Survey Reveals
A national survey done by the North Carolina State University and the University of Minnesota representatives suggests that most U.S. consumers are ready to accept genetically modified and nanotech products if it is enhanced with nutrition and are safe.