Using genetic screening, a medical research team from National Taiwan University and collaborators from around the country said they have unearthed the mechanism of genetic mutation, a breakthrough that could prove useful in the quest to develop treatments for various forms of cancer and metabolic diseases.
The research results of the team led by Yu-yi Lin (林育誼), an assistant professor at the school, has been published in the scientific journal Nature, university vice president Lo Ching-hua (羅清華) said.
“Biologists have found that there are dozens of acyltransferase and deacetylases [KDACs] in a human cell, maintaining the balance of acetylation and deacetylation,” Lin said, adding that acyltransferase and KDACs are like apps on a tablet PC, so when a certain acyltransferase joins with proteins in the cell, it performs certain functions, but KDACs are antagonistic toward the proteins and cause dysfunctions.
When an imbalance between the two occurs, such as when the body ages, KDACs tend to function more than acyltransferase and metabolic diseases are more likely to occur, Lin said.
Therefore, with the application of RNA interference (RNAi) technologies to analize the whole genome, the team was able to map out the interaction network of genes in histone deacetylase.
Lin used Facebook as an example and said just like understanding a person by observing his or her interactions and relationships with other people, mapping out the interaction network allowed them to understand the functions of each acyltransferase or KDACs.
The team discovered that a crucial protein in the liver cell that can be modified by acetylation, Lin said, adding that once the modifying mechanism and functions of each KDAC are understood, then suppressants of certain KDACs can be developed to treat metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as slow down the speed of oxidation.
‘LONE WOLF’: The suspect was difficult to locate, as he did not use a cellphone, did not contact family and often lived in abandoned sites or parks, police said Taipei police on Thursday morning arrested a man accused of numerous burglaries and at least 14 incidents of sexual assault spanning more than 20 years, in what might be the nation’s most notorious crime spree in recent years. Sixty-year-old Tu Ming-lang (涂明朗) — who was yesterday placed in judicial detention, after a judge determined he was a flight risk without a fixed address — faces multiple charges of sexual assault and burglary, police said. A task force comprised of various law enforcement agencies arrested Tu as part of an investigation into an April 28 burglary in Daan District (大安), in which a
Ninth graders were asked to define “trolling” on this year’s standardized exam, reflecting efforts to make the test better reflect real-life situations. Adjustments to this year’s Comprehensive Assessment Program for Junior High School Students were revealed on Sunday, after the last cohort of students completed the test over the weekend. The Ministry of Education solicited feedback about the test from teachers, who approved of the new question in the English portion. Not only was question No. 20 “very much in line with real-life situations,” but it also used a new style in which students were asked to ascertain the correct dictionary definition based
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Three human skeletons and artifacts believed to be about 400 years old were unearthed by construction workers at National Ilan University in Yilan County, the university said yesterday. The discoveries were made on May 10 as workers were digging to expand the College of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science’s facilities, the university said in a statement. The skeletons were found at three sites, along with glass beads, copper bells and rings, discs and a fish-shaped metal knot, it said. The find is likely connected to the “Old Baili Village” (擺厘舊社, Bai Li Jiu She), an as-yet-undiscovered Kavalan settlement that has been mentioned in