Scientists have solved a genetic problem

Jun 16, 2009

Researchers at the Universities of Manchester and Birmingham have solved a genetic problem that causes the accumulation of male hormones - called androgens - in women.

The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, may ultimately lead to a better understanding of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which affects fertility and causes other health problems in women.

The research identified a defect in the pathway for making in the adrenal gland. Although the case studied was a rare one, making such breakthroughs can give special understanding of the common cause of excess androgens in women, polycystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS affects approximately 10 per cent of all women at some point in their reproductive life.

Professor Neil Hanley, one of several leading endocrinologists at the National Institute for Health Research Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), contributed to the studies, which were led by colleagues at the University of Birmingham.

According to Professor Hanley, collaboration has been a key aspect of the research: "What is particularly rewarding about this research is that it is part of a much bigger ongoing interaction between my group in Manchester and the Birmingham team of Professor Wiebke Arlt."

The Manchester BRC recruited Professor Hanley only a year ago from Southampton. He added: "The reason I moved my group was the strength of endocrinology at The University of Manchester, the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and across the city as a whole, so it is nice to have contributed promptly to the success of the Manchester BRC."

Source: University of Manchester (news : web)

Explore further: Researchers pinpoint protein crucial for development of biological rhythms in mice

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bronze age necklace unearthed

Dec 01, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- A 4,000-year-old amber necklace has been discovered at a dig organised by a team of archeologists in Manchester.

International alliance to unlock secrets of Egyptian mummies

May 18, 2005

Two world-renowned teams of experts on Egyptian mummies have joined forces in an international effort to better understand disease and its treatment in ancient Egypt. The University of Manchester's Centre for Biomedical Egy ...

Recommended for you

Team reprograms blood cells into blood stem cells in mice

4 hours ago

Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have reprogrammed mature blood cells from mice into blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), using a cocktail of eight genetic switches called transcription factors. The reprogrammed ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Autism Genome Project delivers genetic discovery

A new study from investigators with the Autism Genome Project, the world's largest research project on identifying genes associated with risk for autism, has found that the comprehensive use of copy number variant (CNV) genetic ...

Study suggests targeting B cells may help with MS

A new study suggests that targeting B cells, which are a type of white blood cell in the immune system, may be associated with reduced disease activity for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). The study is released today ...

Study links California drought to global warming

While researchers have sometimes connected weather extremes to man-made global warming, usually it is not done in real time. Now a study is asserting a link between climate change and both the intensifying California drought ...