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Neurogenetics

1. History and Progression of Neurogenetics: – Neurogenetics emerged from advances in molecular biology, genetics, and understanding the link between genes, behavior, the brain, and […]

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1. History and Progression of Neurogenetics:

– Neurogenetics emerged from advances in molecular biology, genetics, and understanding the link between genes, behavior, the brain, and neurological disorders.
– Seymour Benzer is considered a pioneer in neurogenetics, conducting research on Drosophila to explore the link between circadian rhythms and genes.
– Early analysis methods included LOD scores, pedigrees, affected sib-pairs, and linkage analysis.
– By the late 1980s, recombinant DNA technology and reverse genetics allowed for broader use of DNA polymorphisms for linkage testing.
– In the 1990s, genetic analysis advancements were made in Fragile X syndrome, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and ALS.
– Progression of research involves basic information gathering, sample collection, genetic sequencing, and database integration to understand genetic nuances for therapy treatments.

2. Genetic Basis of Neurological Disorders:

– Genetic basis of simple diseases is known, but complex neurological disorders are still under research.
– Genome wide association studies (GWAS) provide resources for understanding genetic variability and linked diseases.
– Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s lack effective treatments to reverse progression.
– Neurogenetics holds potential for discovering causative connections and developing therapeutic drugs.
– Identifying genetic linkages could lead to treatments that reverse brain degeneration.

3. Gene Sequencing and Mapping:

– Neurogenetics research has identified gene loci linked to neurological diseases.
– LOD scores and pedigrees are used for estimating gene linkage probabilities.
– Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping determines chromosomal positions of genes responsible for traits.
– QTL mapping involves statistical analysis to understand gene interactions and their relation to observed phenotypes.
– QTL mapping can be done in humans using MRI to examine brain morphologies.

4. Recombinant DNA and Reverse Genetics:

– Recombinant DNA is crucial in neurogenetics research for genome alterations and gene expression studies.
– It is used to over- or under-express genes of interest and analyze resulting phenotypes.
– Reverse genetics involves creating mutant genotypes and analyzing resulting phenotypes.
– Model organisms are screened using a toxic drug resistant to the selectable marker.
– Recombinant DNA experiments provide insights into gene roles in organisms’ bodies and their importance in survival.

5. Model Organisms and Behavioral Studies in Neurogenetics:

– Model organisms like mice, Drosophila, C. elegans, zebrafish, and prairie voles are essential in neurogenetics research.
– Studying creatures with simpler nervous systems helps understand biological processes applicable to more complex organisms.
– Animal models are used to study genes related to behavior and cognitive functions.
– Genetic influence on aggression levels and control is observed across species.
– Research on model organisms helps identify genes associated with cognitive and learning deficiencies.

Neurogenetics (Wikipedia)

Neurogenetics studies the role of genetics in the development and function of the nervous system. It considers neural characteristics as phenotypes (i.e. manifestations, measurable or not, of the genetic make-up of an individual), and is mainly based on the observation that the nervous systems of individuals, even of those belonging to the same species, may not be identical. As the name implies, it draws aspects from both the studies of neuroscience and genetics, focusing in particular how the genetic code an organism carries affects its expressed traits. Mutations in this genetic sequence can have a wide range of effects on the quality of life of the individual. Neurological diseases, behavior and personality are all studied in the context of neurogenetics. The field of neurogenetics emerged in the mid to late 20th century with advances closely following advancements made in available technology. Currently, neurogenetics is the center of much research utilizing cutting edge techniques.

Human karyogram
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