Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Decoded: What 'silences' X chromosome in girls
New York : Nearly every girl and woman on Earth carries two X chromosomes in each of her cells -- but one of them does (mostly) nothing. Do you know why?
 
That is because it has been silenced, keeping most of its DNA locked up and unread like a book in a cage, scientists led by an Indian-American researcher from the University of Michigan Medical School have revealed.
 
A wide range of relatively rare diseases - as well as relatively common conditions such as autism, haemophilia and muscular dystrophy - are linked to problems with genes found on the X chromosome.
 
The findings could help lead to new ways of fighting diseases linked to X chromosomes in girls and women -- the kind that occur when the X chromosome that does get read has misprints and defects.
 
The team found that a known molecule called “Xist RNA” is insufficient to silence the X chromosome.
 
"Xist is widely believed to be both necessary and sufficient for X silencing," said team leader Sundeep Kalantry.
 
"We, for the first time, show that it is not sufficient and there have to be other factors - on the X-chromosome itself that activate 'Xist' and then cooperate with 'Xist RNA' to silence the X-chromosome,” he elaborated.
 
In the future, it may be possible to change the level of these other factors in cells and turn on the healthy, silenced copy of a gene that lies on the inactive X-chromosome, Kalantry added.
 
Although most genes on the inactive X chromosome are fully silenced, a handful of the genes on the inactive X are, in fact, active.
 
It is this set of X-inactivation “escapees” that the research team was focused on.
 
Since the “escapee” genes are expressed from both the active and the inactive X-chromosomes in females, they produce more gene product in female cells than in male cells which only have a single X.
 
According to Kalantry, it is this higher “dose” in females that triggers X-inactivation selectively in females; the lower dose in males is insufficient.
 
"That means that if researchers can determine exactly which factors cause X-inactivation to occur, they could find ways to affect the activity of genes on the X chromosomes - specifically, genes involved in certain diseases.” the authors noted.
 
Many of them have an impact on an individual's thinking and memory capacity, and other aspects of cognition and intelligence.
 
"In females, we could envision 'reawakening' a healthy copy of an X-linked gene on the inactive X chromosome, by modulating the dose of these so-called escapee genes and ameliorating the effects of the unhealthy copy," Kalantry explained.
 
Unfortunately, this approach probably won't help males with X-linked diseases, because they only have a single X chromosome in each cell and inactivating it would be harmful.
 
The new paper appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Passenger car sales up nearly 10 percent in 2015: SIAM
New Delhi : Low interest and fuel costs coupled with robust urban demand and new launches accelerated domestic passenger car sales last year by 9.80 percent, industry data showed on Monday.
 
According to the data furnished by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), passenger car sales during the previous year stood at 2,034,015 units.
 
The industry data showed that the total passenger vehicle sales, which include cars, utility vehicles and vans, went up by 7.86 percent to 2,772,745 units during the year under review.
 
Further, the data disclosed a 7.64 percent sales growth in the overall commercial vehicles segment, which is a key indicator of economic activity. 
 
The commercial vehicles segment off-take for the year ended December 31, 2015, stood at 652,591 units.
 
However, three-wheelers' sales declined by 3.29 percent to 514,058 units last year.
 
Overall two-wheelers' segment sales which includes off-take for scooters, motorcycles and mopeds were flat.
 
The two-wheeler segment's sales inched up by 0.86 percent to 16,122,322 units.
 
Product-wise, scooter sales during the year under review grew by 12.94 percent at 4,880,117 units. 
 
Motorcycle sub-segment sales, however, dropped by 3.42 percent at 10,523,909 units.
 
In addition, moped off-take declined by 6.38 percent at 718,296 units during the period under review.
 
Besides, overall exports across categories were flat during the year under review. 
 
It reported a miniscule growth of 0.57 percent to 3,610,999 units which were shipped out during 2015.
 
Total automobile sales last year were higher by 1.87 percent at 20,061,716 units from 19,693,418 units sold in 2014.
 
For last month, SIAM data revealed a growth of 12.87 percent in the domestic passenger car sales which stood at 172,671 units.
 
"Looking at different segments and sub-segments, vehicle sales growth trend continues in December 2015," said Abdul Majeed, partner and auto expert with PriceWaterhouse.
 
"Growth is fuelled by positive urban customer sentiments, gradual uptick in the economy and hope that the economy will do much better in the coming quarters.”
 
The data further showed that the total passenger vehicle sales went up by 10.46 percent to 230,960 units during the month under review.
 
Sales of utility vehicles rose by 4.18 percent to 44,874 units. Vans' off-take inched-up by 2.99 percent to 13,415 units. 
 
Overall commercial vehicles segment sales during last month showed a growth of 11.45 percent to 56,840 units.
 
Three-wheelers' sales augmented by 17.45 percent in the month under review at 46,881 units.
 
On the other hand, overall two-wheelers segment's sales were lower by 3.10 percent to 1,167,633 units from 1,204,942 units sold in the like month of 2014.
 
On product specific basis, scooter sub-segment's sales in December edged up by 3.12 percent at 386,305 units. 
 
In contrast, motorcycle sales receded by 5.93 percent to 724,807 units.
 
Similarly, mopeds' sales declined in the month under review.
 
The sub-segment's off-take was down by 5.52 percent at 56,521 units during the month under review.
 
In addition, overall exports, too, declined during December.
 
The exports were lower by 7.48 percent at 311,021 units sold abroad from 336,178 units shipped out during December 2014.
 
Total automobile sales were flat - down 0.17 percent to 1,502,314 units from 1,504,944 units sold during the corresponding month of 2014.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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National Herald case: Court allows Dr Swamy's plea for documents
New Delhi : A court here on Monday allowed the plea of Bhartiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy seeking some documents to support his National Herald case against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi.
 
Metropolitan magistrate Lovleen allowed the plea of Swamy seeking some documents from various ministries and other agencies.
 
In his application, Swamy has sought documents in regard to the company, the Associated Journals Limited, Herald House from ministries of finance, urban development, and corporate affairs, the Delhi Development Authority and the registrar of companies.
 
He told the court that these documents are necessary for the purpose of the trial and other proceedings.
 
The court last month granted bail to Gandhis after they appeared before it.
 
On June 26, 2014, the trial court issued summons to the Congress leaders on Swamy's complaint about "cheating" in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd., which published the National Herald newspaper, by Young India Ltd., "a firm in which Sonia and Rahul Gandhi each own a 38 percent stake".
 
Congress leaders Motilal Vora, and Oscar Fernandes, family friend Suman Dubey and technocrat Sam Pitroda were also named as accused in the case.
 
The Delhi High Court last month dismissed the plea of the Gandhis to quash the summons issued to them by the trial court on Swamy's complaint.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Suketu Shah

1 year ago

Thus case by Dr Swamy wl turn India on its head in a positive way,not anything else.Jai Hind.

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