Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

World’s Largest Respiratory Genetics Study Launches on World COPD Day

Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Last Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Researchers funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) are to conduct the largest ever study of the genetics relating to lung disease.

The main aims of the study will be to discover what determines an individual’s lung health and why smoking harms the lungs of some people more than others.

The scientists, from the University of Nottingham, the University of Leicester, and St George’s, University of London, hope to find out why some people are genetically more prone to suffer from lung disease, particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD includes conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema and is the sixth most common cause of death in the UK (around 30,000 deaths per year). It affects approximately 900,000 people in the UK and costs the NHS £500m every year.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that COPD is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide (after coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease and acute respiratory infection) but it is predicted to move into third place in the near future. Wednesday 14 November is World COPD Day.

The project aims to discover the genes which affect lung function, and also those which may affect the chances of developing lung disease for both smokers and non-smokers. It will also investigate whether genes play a part in the ability, or the failure, to maintain good lung health for both smokers and non-smokers. The researchers will also be able to investigate genetic factors that may affect the likelihood of an individual becoming addicted to smoking.

The study, which is called UK BiLEVE (UK Biobank Lung Exome Variant Evaluation), will be one of the first projects to make use of UK Biobank which holds health and lifestyle information from half a million volunteers and is the world’s largest data resource of its kind.

All UK Biobank participants have already had their lung function measured and given information about their smoking habits, past and present. They have also provided blood samples which can be used to extract genetic information. In this study researchers will use the anonymous data from 50,000 of these participants to determine genetic variants associated with susceptibility to COPD. They will look at both rare and common single nucleotide polymorphisms (tiny variations in genes) in the participants’ DNA and the lung function of those who are heavy smokers and those who have never smoked.

Lead researcher and Dean of Nottingham Medical School, Professor Ian Hall, says: “We currently know very little about why there is such a wide difference in lung health even among smokers. It may have something to do with genetics so we’re extremely excited about using the unique resource of UK Biobank to test this theory. This study couldn’t be done anywhere else in the world.”
 
Professor David Lomas, Chair of the MRC Population and Systems Medicine Board, says: “We know that smoking is unhealthy for anyone but we know little about why the lungs of most smokers are seriously affected, while those of some seem to stay relatively healthy. If we knew more about the genetics that cause this variation we would be better able to direct treatments to those who are most at risk and have an increased chance of developing drugs to target this type of lung disease.”

Professor Sir Rory Collins, UK Biobank Principal Investigator, said: “We are extremely grateful to the half a million people throughout Britain who went out of their way to join UK Biobank. Their commitment will provide key insights into a wide range of illnesses that kill and cause pain and suffering. Last week we heard of plans to use UK Biobank to study dementia. This week UK Biobank helps scientists tackle a serious lung condition. UK Biobank will become a key resource to improve health in the 21st century. We are grateful to the MRC, Wellcome Trust and Department of Health for having the vision to back such an initiative.”


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,400+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Liver Regrown from Stem Cells
Scientists have repaired a damaged liver in a mouse by transplanting stem cells grown in the laboratory.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
MRC, GSK and Five Leading UK Universities Collaborate
Collaboration to crack difficult disease areas.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
‘Mini Bile Ducts’ used to Discover New Drugs that could Prevent Liver Damage
An experimental cystic fibrosis drug has been shown to prevent the disease’s damage to the liver, thanks to a world-first where scientists grew mini bile ducts in the lab.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
First RNAi Meiosis Screen Reveals Genes Essential to Generate Eggs
Screening techniques developed leading to the discovery of genes essential for meiosis in mammals.
Wednesday, July 08, 2015
Study Identifies New Way to Kill the Malaria Parasite
Scientists have discovered new ways in which the malaria parasite survives in the blood stream of its victims, a discovery that could pave the way to new treatments for the disease.
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Making Vaccines More Effective In The Elderly
Compound shown to restore the immune system’s inbuilt memory.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Immune Organ Regenerated in Mice
Scientists have for the first time used regenerative medicine to fully restore a degenerated organ in a living animal.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
AstraZeneca, MRC Collaboration to Create New Centre for Early Drug Discovery
The Companies today announced the groundbreaking collaboration aimed at better understanding the mechanisms of human disease. The collaboration will see the creation of a joint research facility at AstraZeneca’s new R&D centre in Cambridge in the UK.
Monday, March 31, 2014
MRC Invests £32M to Improve Data Research
Investment will improve capability, capacity and capital infrastructure in medical bioinformatics.
Friday, February 07, 2014
Redirecting the Rules of Attraction in Fruit Flies
MRC researchers have discovered a biological switch that determines which part of the fruit fly’s brain responds to pheromones, depending on whether the fruit fly is male or female.
Friday, December 20, 2013
A Gene Mutation for Excessive Alcohol Drinking Found
UK researchers have discovered a gene that regulates alcohol consumption and when faulty can cause excessive drinking.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology Alumni Awarded Nobel Prize for Chemistry
Professor Michael Levitt, Professor Arieh Warshel and Professor Martin Karplus awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Monday, October 14, 2013
Study Leads to Alzheimer's Breakthrough
Researchers at the Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit have used an orally-administered compound to block a major pathway leading to brain cell death in mice, preventing neurodegeneration.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
£25m to Kick-Start ‘Industrial Revolution’ in Regenerative Medicine
Applications will include Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease, wound and musculoskeletal repair, eye disorders and deafness.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
3D Tissue Grown from Stem Cells - New Model System for Brain Development
An international team of researchers has used stem cells to create a 3D structure that mimics early human brain development.
Monday, September 02, 2013
Scientific News
Study Finds Brain Chemicals that Keep Wakefulness in Check
Researchers to develop new drugs that promote better sleep, or control hyperactivity in people with mania.
Sorting Through Cellular Statistics
Aaron Dinner, professor in chemistry, and his graduate student Herman Gudjonson are trying to read the manual of life, DNA, as part of the Dinner group’s research into bioinformatics—the application of statistics to biological research.
Playing 'Tag' with Pollution lets Scientists See Who's It
Using a climate model that can tag sources of soot from different global regions and can track where it lands on the Tibetan Plateau, researchers have determined which areas around the plateau contribute the most soot — and where.
Women’s Immune System Genes Operate Differently from Men’s
A new technology reveals that immune system genes switch on and off differently in women and men, and the source of that variation is not primarily in the DNA.
Long Telomeres Associated with Increased Lung Cancer Risk
Genetic predisposition for long telomeres predicts increased lung adenocarcinoma risk.
First Artificial Ribosome Designed
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins and enzymes within the cell.
High-Resolution 3D Images Reveal the Muscle Mitochondrial Power Grid
NIH mouse study overturns scientific ideas on energy distribution in muscle.
Expanding the Brain
A team of researchers has identified more than 40 new “imprinted” genes, in which either the maternal or paternal copy of a gene is expressed while the other is silenced.
Identifying a Key Growth Factor in Cell Proliferation
Researchers discover that aspartate is a limiter of cell proliferation.
Study Uncovers Target for Preventing Huntington’s Disease
Scientists from Cardiff University believe that a treatment to prevent or delay the symptoms of Huntington’s disease could now be much closer, following a major breakthrough.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,400+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!