1 Tahrcountry Musings: Timid to daring – One gene away

Friday, November 18, 2005

Timid to daring – One gene away

Dr. Gleb Shumyatsky, an assistant professor of genetics at Rutgers, who led a team that included investigators from Columbia, Harvard, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, says that by removing a single gene they can turn normally cautious animals into daring ones. The experiment was done on mice. The scientists found that a protein called stathmin, produced by the stathmin gene was responsible for producing fear like conditions. Using genetic engineering, the scientists removed the gene that produces fear from mice and bred a line of the animals, without this gene. When left alone on an unfamiliar whitesurface, the engineered mice spent about twice as long exploring as did the normal mice. In other response inducing experiments also genetically altered mice cane out winning. Scientists claim this discovery could revolutionise drug research in the coming years.The discovery has been reported in the latest issue of journal Cell.

No comments: