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Technology Gives Glimpse Into Genetics of Heart Attacks, Cancer

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In hearts from animals that had suffered heart attacks, genes associated with stress on the heart and wound healing appeared to be more active than in normal heart tissue, and "14 genes not previously associated with [heart attacks] were identified," Lowe and colleagues write.

Although the genetic findings were inconclusive, Lowe tells WebMD that the study proved the benefit of using microarray technology to monitor how various types of heart tissues respond to physical stress.

"One of the points we wanted to try to understand for ourselves was the degree to which we would be able to use the microarrays in studying tissue samples," Lowe tells WebMD. "It seems like a simple question, but anybody who has worked with animals will know the intrinsic variability of the systems, and we needed to know those parameters for ourselves."

Vital Information

 

  • Scientists have developed a new technology that can scan the activity of 30,000 genes simultaneously.
  • This microarray technology can help determine how different types of heart tissue responds to physical stress and can scan the thousands of genes in a cancer cell.
  • Researchers hope this technology will one day lead to better understanding and treatment of heart conditions and cancer.
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