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Chromosome Probes at the Unive

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Chromosome Probes at the Unive

Chromosome Probes at the University of Toronto Uploaded: November 29, 1986. Sensitive chromosome probes recently discovered by a University of Toronto geneticist will make it easier to detect certain types of genetic and prenatal diseases, as well as being used to determine paternity and provide forensic evidence in criminal cases. Probes are short pieces of DNA which bind to, and actually pinpoint, particular sites on a chromosome. Because these new probes are actually repeated hundreds or thousands of time at a particular site, they are much more sensitive than previously available ones Of the 23 pairs of human chromosomes, Dr. F.H. Willard has discovered repeated probes or markers for six plus the gender determining X and Y chromosomes. "What we're trying to decide now is whether to isolate probes for the other chromosomes, or whether we should utilize the eight we have," he says. Dr. Willard is currently negotiating with an American company to develop prenatal diagnostic tests, which, because the current tests are time consuming and technically difficult to do, are restricted to women over 35 and those who have a family history of chromosomal abnormalities. Prenatal tests using Willard's probes would be much simpler and faster to perform and could be available to all pregnant women who wish to take advantage of the technology. Current prenatal testing involves growing fetal cells in vitro and examining them, over one or two months, to see if there are two copies of a particular chromosome, which is normal, or one or three, which is abnormal. A test using Willard's probes would require only a few cells and a few days to detect abnormalities. "I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility that these kinds of tests could eventually be done by an obstetrician in the office during the early stages of pregnancy," he adds. The determination of gender is another possible use for the probes. Many diseases, such as Duschene's muscular dystrophy, show up on the X chromosome, manifesting only in boys. Willard thinks it is possible to develop a test which would quickly indicate the fetus' sex. This would benefit parents whose only option is to have no children or to have only girls. Confirming gender in children with ambiguous genitalia is another medical reason for using the test. A quick examination of the X and Y chromosomes of the child would indicate whether genetically the child is male or female. As yet, Willard has been unable to develop a probe for chromosome 21. Down's Syndrome results from three copies of chromosome 21 (trisomy 21). "I think we'll know within a year whether a test to detect trisomy 21 is feasible, " he says hopefully. The other six chromosome probes which Willard has developed do not immediately lend themselves to diagnostic tests, except for certain cancers, he says. "We have a probe for chromosome 7 and we know that trisomy 7 is a signal for certain types of cancer. Chromosome abnormalities of all kinds are a signpost of tumors." Theoretically, an oncologist could use a chromosome probe test to examine tissue and obtain a reading for a specific cancer. " It wouldn't suggest a mode of therapy," he points out, "but would be a speedy test and would have prognostic implications for the kind of tumor discovered." As a basic research tool, Willard's probes could be used to develop a genetic linkage map for human chromosomes. "It's important to know the location of genes in the human genome, particularly disease genes. The leading approach to try to sort out disease genes is to use genetic linkage. Because our sequences are at the centromere it would allow us to develop a map." The third application for the probes is in forensic biology. Willard believes his markers are as unique to each each individual as are fingerprints. According to the geneticist, it will be possible to make a DNA 'fingerprint' from blood or sperm, which could be used as evidence in rape or murder cases. "We haven't yet done the analysis which confirms that our probes are DNA fingerprints, but once we do, we will make them available for development into tests." As research progresses in all these areas, Willard hopes to collaborate with other departments at the U of T to conduct clinical trials. His work is funded by the March of Dimes, the Hospital for Sick Children Foundation and the Medical Research Council.



Overview of Diabetes Type I

What is diabetes type I

Health implications of diabetes type I

Physical Activity

What is physical activity?

Why do we need physical activity in our lives?

Physical Activity and Diabetes (Epidemiology)




For our seminar topic "physical activity and disease" we chose diabetes as the focus of our


Since diabetes is such a complex disease with many different forms, we decided to focus on

diabetes type I. This is known as insulindependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). This type of

diabetes includes people who are dependant on injections of insulin on a daily basis in

order to satisfy the bodies insulin needs, they cannot survive without these injections.


What is diabetes type I?

In order to understand the disease we firstly need to know about insulin. Insulin is a

hormone. The role of insulin is to convert the food we eat into various useful substances,

discarding everything that is wasteful.

It is the job of insulin to see that the useful substances are put to best use for our

wellbeing. The useful substances are used for building cells, are made ready for immediate

expenditure as energy and also stored for later energy expenditure.

The cause of diabetes is an absolute or lack of the hormone insulin. As a result of this

lack of insulin the processes that involve converting the foods we eat into various useful

substances does not occur.

Insulin comes from the beta cells which are located in the pancreas. In the case of

diabetes type I almost all of the beta cells have been destroyed. Therefore daily

injections of insulin become essential to life.

Health implications of diabetes type I

One of the products that is of vital importance in our bodies is glucose, a simple

carbohydrate sugar which is needed by virtually every part of our body as fuel to function.

Insulin controls the amount of glucose distributed to vital organs and also the muscles. In

diabetics due to the lack of insulin and therefore the control of glucose given to

different body parts they face death if they don't inject themselves with insulin daily.

Since strict monitoring of diabetes is needed for the control of the disease, little room

is left for carelessness. As a result diabetic patients are susceptible to many other

diseases and serious conditions if a proper course of treatment is not followed.

Other diseases a diabetic is open to: Cardiovascular disease, stroke, Peripheral artery

disease, gangrene, kidney disease, blindness, hypertension, nerve damage, impotence etc.

Basically there is an increased incident of infection in diabetic sufferers. Therefore

special care needs to be taken to decrease the chances of getting these other serious



What is physical activity?

(Bouchard 1988) States that physical activity is any bodily movement produced by skeletal

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Keywords: chromosome probe, kiek chromosomų turi žmogaus kiaušialąstė, kiek chromosomų turi žmogus

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