Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Possibly Heart-Stopping

Researchers have characterized a genetic mutation associated with some sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) cases, KOMO News, a Seattle news radio station, reports.

A team from the University of Washington developed cardiomyocytes from human-induced pluripotent stem cells lacking hydratase subunit A (HADHA), mutations in which lead to mitochondrial tri-functional protein deficiency and possibly SIDS. SIDS causes about 1,400 deathsin the US each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As the UW team reports in Nature Communications, it found that when HADHA-mutant cardiomyocytes were given a mix of fatty acids, they resemble the disease state in that their calcium dynamics and repolarization kinetics were altered, leading to a pro-arrhythmic state. This, the researchers write, suggest HADHA is needed for functional mitochondria and indicates that infants with HADHA gene alterations cannot metabolize the fatty acids in milk.

"An autopsy wouldn't necessarily pick up why the child passed but we think it might be due to the infant's heart stopping to beat," says first author Jason Miklas from UW in a statement.

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.