DEC 16, 2021 4:05 PM PST

Research Links New Genes to Congenital Heart Disease

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Congenital heart defects, which a person is born with, impact one in one hundred babies. CHD is a leading cause of death for newborns, but researchers are still learning more about why they occur. A new study has linked many genes to CHD, 35 of which have never been connected to CHD before this. The research, which was reported in Genome Biology, could eventually improve diagnostic tools that can identify the potential for CHD in pre-natal testing.

Image credit: CC0

In this study, the researchers scoured databases to find genes that are expressed in the heart, even if they were also linked to other tissues. That enabled the researchers to find genes associated with CHD that might have been ignored because they were not expressed solely in heart tissue, the study authors noted.

Once genes had been identified with computational tools, the researchers turned to a fruit fly model to investigate some of the predictions, and how these genes are related to heart development. About 75 percent of the human genes that have been linked to disease are also found in fruit flies, they are easy to maintain, and they breed rapidly, making them a convenient research model.  

According to study co-leader Dr. Travis Johnson of Monash University’s School of Biological Sciences, the fruit fly research revealed “a long list of high-quality candidate genes for causing heart abnormalities in humans, giving real insight into just how susceptible this organ is to genetic mutations.”

Although many new genes have been identified in this study, Johnson cautioned that more research will be needed before they will be used in prenatal CHD genetic testing for CHD. “We now need to conduct functional studies on all of these genes in animal experiments to determine what they actually do," but while this research is still in the early stages, it's a promising foundation for future work.

Sources: Monash University, Genome Biology

About the Author
BS
Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
DEC 29, 2021
Health & Medicine
To Drink or Not to Drink This Holiday Season: New Research on Alcohol and Heart Health
DEC 29, 2021
To Drink or Not to Drink This Holiday Season: New Research on Alcohol and Heart Health
Alcohol consumption has been linked to a reversible form of atrial fibrillation known as Holiday Heart Syndrome, where h ...
JAN 27, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
The way to the heart is through the toilet seat. Casana raises $30million for its blood pressure monitoring toilet seat.
JAN 27, 2022
The way to the heart is through the toilet seat. Casana raises $30million for its blood pressure monitoring toilet seat.
Casana, a healthcare company based out of Rochester, New York, announced early this week that it has raised $3 ...
FEB 04, 2022
Cancer
A Historic Four Day Surgery
FEB 04, 2022
A Historic Four Day Surgery
Ovarian cysts are a common condition, and many women experience them.  Most of the time, ovarian cysts are harmless ...
FEB 10, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Muscle Techniques Ease Dizziness from Low Blood Pressure
FEB 10, 2022
Muscle Techniques Ease Dizziness from Low Blood Pressure
Two muscle techniques that are free of cost and easy to implement can reduce dizziness upon standing for those with hypo ...
MAR 18, 2022
Neuroscience
Severe Mental Illness Doubles Risk for Heart Disease
MAR 18, 2022
Severe Mental Illness Doubles Risk for Heart Disease
Individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, or schizophrenia have up to twice the risk of dev ...
APR 14, 2022
Cardiology
Sleep and Heart Health
APR 14, 2022
Sleep and Heart Health
Sleep is increasingly recognized as a key to maintaining heart health.
Loading Comments...