Scientists identify memory gene

Oct 20, 2006

An international study led by U.S. geneticists has discovered a gene -- called Kibra -- that is associated with memory performance in humans.

The researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix say their findings may be used to develop new medicines for diseases affecting memory, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, by providing a better understanding of how memory works at the molecular level.

The research team was led by Dietrich Stephan, the institute's neurogenomics division director, and included colleagues at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, the Banner Alzheimer's Institute in Phoenix and the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The team used Affymetrix Inc.'s Human Mapping 500K Array to analyze 500,000 DNA markers simultaneously, providing a genetic blueprint for the memory-study participants. The researchers discovered the Kibra gene by comparing the genetic blueprints of people with good memory to those of people with poor memory, looking for the genetic variations consistently present in one group, but not the other.

The study appears in the current issue of the journal Science.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Surprising new insights into the PTEN tumor suppressor gene

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Exploring the function of sleep

Aug 26, 2008

Is sleep essential? Ask that question to a sleep-deprived new parent or a student who has just pulled an "all-nighter," and the answer will be a grouchy, "Of course!"

Recommended for you

Surprising new insights into the PTEN tumor suppressor gene

10 hours ago

Ever since it was first identified more than 15 years ago, the PTEN gene has been known to play an integral role in preventing the onset and progression of numerous cancers. Consequently, when PTEN is either lost or mutated, ...

Scientists find new genes on male sex chromosomes

15 hours ago

Scientists are a step closer to discovering what determines the sex of Australia's iconic platypus and echidna, after an international study involving researchers from the University of Adelaide and UNSW Australia unravelled ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled

Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals.