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Genetic Diseases

November 4, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
USC researchers have identified a family with an inherited form of Parkinson's disease, providing further evidence that the disorder has a genetic component. New Jersey researchers reported last year on the discovery of the first family with such a history of the disease, which is characterized by tremors, rigidity of the limbs and, often, mental impairment. It affects as many as 1.5 million Americans.
October 14, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
By studying 192 members of a large Kentucky family, Texas researchers have identified the approximate location of a second gene that causes retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary eye disorder that often leads to blindness. RP affects about 100,000 Americans and 1.5 million people worldwide. In 1989, researchers identified a defective gene that causes about one-third of the cases of RP. That gene, found on chromosome 3, is the blueprint for rhodopsin, a pigment that is important in vision.
One night nearly 25 years ago, the gentle, bird-like woman with the carefully modulated voice went berserk, rampaging through her office and smashing every window she could reach. "I was scared to death," Pat says. "When they took me through there the next day and showed me what I had done, I couldn't believe that was me. I'd never been that angry before. I didn't even know what I was angry at. I just wanted to destroy everything that was in front of me. But it wasn't me. It was somebody else."
August 1, 1989 | THOMAS H. MAUGH II, Times Science Writer
Physicians at Stanford University and four other institutions around the world are gearing up to perform an unprecedented transplantation procedure that holds the promise of achieving a feat that has tantalized molecular biologists since the inception of genetic engineering: correcting an inborn genetic defect in humans.
January 9, 1989 | From Times staff and wire reports
A genetic defect passed on only by mothers to their children has been linked to some eye disorders and a type of epilepsy and may be responsible for even more diseases. By analyzing patterns of genetic inheritance among several large Georgia families and analyzing specific genes, Emory University scientists linked genetic flaws in mitochondria, the cell's energy producing bodies, to three inherited diseases.
November 27, 1989 | Compiled from Times staff and wire reports
A safer, easier technique--involving only a tablespoon-size sample of a mother's blood taken as early as eight weeks into a pregnancy--is being developed to test for hidden genetic disorders in a fetus. At present, if women are troubled by the idea of possibly carrying a genetically damaged fetus, there are only two ways to settle the question: amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.
September 7, 1989 | Michael Schrage
Most maps can tell you where you are and which way to go; gene maps can tell you which way you'll probably die. The question is, do you really want to know? For the price of a Rand McNally World Atlas, you will soon be able to learn what your body has in store for you. A few drops of blood, a whirl in a centrifuge and the right enzyme cocktail are the necessary ingredients to cut and paste your double helix into a detailed map of the body's design.
March 22, 1987 | Compiled from Times staff and wire service reports
A new-found gene that may cause a third of all manic-depressive disorders provides strong evidence that several genes may produce the illnesses, scientists say. That is the second genetic link between heredity and mental illness to be reported in less than four weeks. "We may end up with a fairly small number," said Dr. Miron Baron, one of the discoverers of the latest gene.
May 3, 1987 | Compiled from Times staff and wire service reports
Researchers may have found the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis, which would be a major step toward understanding the cause of the disease--one of the most common fatal inherited diseases--scientists said last week. The experimental results indicate that even if the discovery is not the long-sought gene, it has brought scientists far closer to that goal, they said. "We're very excited about it," said Dr. Robert Beall of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
September 2, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Researchers appear to have partially corrected muscular dystrophy in mice by injecting corrective genes directly into the mice's muscles, according to a report last week in the British journal Nature. The study points the way toward the eventual use of gene therapy to arrest or reverse muscular dystrophy in patients, but years of research will be required before then, according to researchers from the University of Wisconsin and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England.
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