An important new paper from Duke University announces the creation of a powerful computational approach for identification of novel human imprinted genes, and demonstrates experimental validation of two of the newly predicted genes. This groundbreaking paper was published in the December 3, 2007, issue of Genome Research (Luedi et al., pp. 17231730; [website]). Low Dose Program investigator Dr. Randy Jirtle is the senior corresponding author of this paper, and an internationally recognized expert in the new field of epigenetics. Previous work by Dr. Jirtle and others shows that environmental stressors can reprogram how some genes operate. The Jirtle lab currently has experiments underway looking at whether radiation exposures affect the parental imprinting in mice.
Last month Dr. Jirtle was nominated by Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, for the Time magazine 2007 Person of the Year award ([website]). Earlier he was featured on a NOVA Science program focusing on epigenetics, entitled "Ghost in Your Genes," first aired October 16th on PBS stations, ([website]). Dr. Jirtle is also featured in the latest issue of Newsweek (A Changing Portrait of DNA by Mary Carpenter), December 10, 2007.
Media Interest: Yes see Associated Press Report Duke scientists map 'silenced genes' by Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer, Fri Nov 30, 6:49 AM ET
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