SEOUL, Jan. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — In the midst of an international research project jointly conducted by South Korean and Italian researchers, a gene with a connection to autism was discovered. This gene, found to regulate emotions such as anxiety and fear as well as depressive moods, is expected to become a subject of greater study in the field of autism research.
Along with their Italian counterparts from the University of Trento, experts from the state-funded Institute for Basic Science and Chungnam National University took part in the research.
The newly discovered gene was christened by the research staff as “samdori”.
The researchers stumbled upon samdori when they were looking to identify the gene that is responsible for the creation of the cytokine protein.
Samdori is found in all vertebrates.
To understand samdori’s function, the capabilities of the gene were repressed in two test animals, zebra fish and rats.
What ensued were symptoms of anxiety and depression; going a step further, the researchers analyzed big data from more than 32,000 mental health patients’ genome records and were able to link samdori’s function with the onset of autism.
Chungnam National University professor Kim Chul-hee said, “We were able to fully uncover a new gene related to autism through this research project. Going forward, we expect molecular diagnostics and development of new drug treatments for conditions pertaining to the regulation of emotions such as depression, ADHD, PTSD, manic-depressive disorder and other mental illnesses to use [samdori].”
A report of the research project was published in the United States’ official scientific journal of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)