Queen Univeristy team makes DNA discovery
A breakthrough genetic discovery which could help predict a patient's risk for cancer, diabetes and other acute diseases has been made by researchers from Queen's University Belfast.
The team have unlocked previously unknown aspects of the genetic code that control cell function and disease, and why only certain DNA elements make certain individuals predisposed to certain diseases. This breakthrough could enable medical professionals to make earlier diagnoses, before even signs and symptoms of disease appear.
The research results, which have been published in the interdisciplinary journal iScience, build on previous established knowledge about DNA, particularly an aspect of a strand known as an 'enhancer' which allows certain genetic traits to be 'turned on' or 'turned off'.
This latest research has uncovered that DNA enhancers exhibit which is termed high Propeller Twist (ProT) levels. This potentially makes them more prone to be affected by mutagenic agents, harming cells and ultimately causing diseases such as cancer.