Researchers Identify 50 New Eye Genes

The largest genome-wide association study for eye color to date, involving up to 192,986 European participants from 10 populations, has identified 124 independent associations arising from 61 genomic regions, including 50 previously unidentified, and demonstrated that several of these genes also have an effect on eye color in Asians.

Human eye color is highly heritable, but its genetic architecture is not yet fully understood. Image credit: Pexels.

‘Eye color is primarily determined by melanin abundance within the iris pigment epithelium, which is greater in brown than in blue eyes, and both the density and distribution of stromal melanocyte cells,’ said co-senior author Dr. Pirro Hysi of King’s College London and colleagues.

Publisher: Breaking Science News |
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Cell microarrays and RNA interference chip away at gene function

The recent development of cell microarrays offers the potential to accelerate high-throughput functional genetic studies. The widespread use of RNA interference (RNAi) has prompted several groups to fabricate RNAi cell microarrays that make possible discrete, in-parallel transfection with thousands of RNAi reagents on a microarray slide. Though still a budding technology, RNAi cell microarrays promise to increase the efficiency, economy and ease of genome-wide RNAi screens in metazoan cells.

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With the genome sequences of dozens of species now complete, focus is shifting to the rapid elucidation of gene function. A number of high-throughput methods, such as protein-protein interaction assays, transcriptional profiling and gene sequence analyses, are used to infer gene function. Until recently, the more direct tools of classical genetics, for example gain- and loss-of-function mutants that yield insights into the molecular mechanisms of a cellular phenotype, have been difficult to implement at the genome-wide scale in cultured mammalian and Drosophila melanogaster cells.

Publisher: Nature Genetics
Date: 2005/06
Author: citation_journal_title Nature citation_title Potent and specific genetic interference by double stranded RNA in Caenorhabditis elegans citation_author A Fire citation_volume 391 citation_publication_date 1998 citation_pages 806 811 citation_doi 10 1038 35888 citation_id CR1
Twitter: @NatureGenet
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