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August 18, 2020

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

A research team headed by scientists at the University of Basel has linked epigenetic regulation of a gene, NTRK2, which is involved in glucocorticoid receptor signaling, with a reduced risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among survivors of war, or genocide in Africa. Reporting their research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the researchers suggest their findings could ultimately lead to the development of new approaches to reducing traumatic memories. “These results might contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of PTSD, ultimately paving the way for the discovery of novel biomarkers and drug targets,” they concluded. Research lead Dominique de Quervain, MD, and colleagues in Switzerland, Germany, and the U.S., report their discoveries in a paper titled, “NTRK2 methylation is related to reduced PTSD risk in two African cohorts of trauma survivors.”

An artificial intelligence tool - which analyzed 28 physical and molecular measures, all but one from blood samples - confirmed with 77 percent accuracy a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in male combat veterans, according to a new study.

TruGen-1 reports on gene expression levels for 3 key PTSD biomarkers, FKBP5, STAT5B, and NFIA. They are central to controlling levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. When expression of these biomarkers differs, people experience a prolonged and more extreme stress response and the onset of PTSD symptoms.

Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) have identified, isolated, and characterized a unique population of B cells that tamps down the immune system, reducing chronic inflammation. Infusions of purified IL-27 regulatory B cells (I27-Breg ) reduced symptoms in mouse models of multiple sclerosis (MS) and the eye disease autoimmune uveitis. The research suggests the cells may play a role in future human therapies. NEI is part of the National Institutes of Health.

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