The basic unit of inheritance. A gene is a distinct section of DNA in a cell’s chromosome that encodes a specific working molecule—usually protein or RNA—with some role in brain or body function.
The Genetics Home Reference Web site of the National Library of Medicine allows users to search for information about genetic conditions, provides a handbook for understanding genetics, gives information about specific genes, and also lists helpful resources.
The health information section of the National Human Genome Research Institute’s Web site includes general information on genetics, genetic testing, and research, along with resources for specific genetic disorders.
The National Office of Public Health Genomics at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides a wealth of information on current genetic research and policies, gene-linked health issues, and topics related to family history.
DNA damage and repair
are widely studied by cancer biologists and immunologists; now neuroscientists
are taking a look
A Nobel Prize-winning neurologist/biochemist has transmitted a Parkinson's-like disease from the involved brain to a mouse model.
Our understanding of the biological mechanisms of schizophrenia risk has steadily evolved over the past few decades, attributable largely to advances in human genetics and to genomic technologies. One of our series of Reports on Progress.
As the behavioral genetics field grows, we must be cautious
not to oversimplify the research, warn experts, particularly in studies linking
single genes to certain traits.
Researchers develop genetic “structure corrector” that
unfolds misfolded protein apoE4 in mice into shape of its helpful sibling,
apoE3. If it works in people, that protein change might improve healing for a
range of brain injuries.
In the study of disease, going from recognizing a familial pattern to an understanding of the underlying genetics is a crucial step.