Our study: Salt responses unraveled by transcriptomic analysis in sticklebacks

posted Aug 20, 2014, 9:11 AM by James Cai   [ updated Aug 20, 2014, 9:12 AM ]

This online interactive resource (http://stickleback.genomezoo.net) is created to allow easy navigation of mRNA expression profiles and provides a comprehensive annotation of differentially expressed stickleback genes. Using stickleback as a model organism, we employ high-throughput sequencing technologies to identify and study mRNA-based gene regulatory mechanisms in response to salinity. This website is meant to facilitate easy access to our published data sets as well as some unpublished information.

NEJM article: Sodium, Potassium, and Blood Pressure

posted Aug 15, 2014, 1:11 PM by James Cai   [ updated Aug 15, 2014, 1:21 PM ]

"In a large study in 18 countries, sodium and potassium intake were estimated from urine samples and correlated with blood pressure. The correlations were nonlinear and were most pronounced among people with high sodium intake, those with hypertension, and older persons." [ORIGINAL ARTICLE]

What we are working on: Salt responses unraveled by transcriptomic analysis in sticklebacks

posted Feb 10, 2014, 4:01 PM by James Cai   [ updated Aug 20, 2014, 9:14 AM ]

This online interactive resource (http://stickleback.genomezoo.net) is created to allow easy navigation of mRNA expression profiles and provides a comprehensive annotation of differentially expressed stickleback genes. Using stickleback as a model organism, we employ high-throughput sequencing technologies to identify and study mRNA-based gene regulatory mechanisms in response to salinity. This website is meant to facilitate easy access to our unpublished data sets. This website will be updated as more data becomes published.

Computational identification of miRNAs in threespine stickleback

posted Jan 12, 2014, 1:54 PM by James Cai   [ updated Feb 14, 2014, 3:22 PM ]

A new article is published in Molecular Ecology ResourcesChaturvedi et al. predicted 1,486 mature miRNAs using the homology based miRNA prediction approach. They then performed functional annotation and enrichment analysis of these targets, which identified over-represented motifs. Further, a database resource (GAmiRdb) has been developed for dynamically searching miRNAs and their targets exclusively in three-spined stickleback. Finally, the database was used in two case studies focusing on freshwater adaptation in natural populations. In the first study, they found 44 genomic regions overlapping with predicted miRNA targets. In the second study, they identified two SNPs altering the MRE seed site of sperm-specific glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate gene. [Read on...]

Salt in health and disease — a delicate balance

posted Apr 1, 2013, 7:11 AM by James Cai   [ updated May 23, 2014, 6:33 AM ]

This review article is published in N Engl J Med. "The fact that salt (sodium chloride) is essential for life has been recognized for millennia. Historically, the exchange value of salt played an important role in establishing trade routes, securing alliances, and provoking revolutions. Homer referred to salt as a divine substance, and Plato described it as especially dear to the gods. Salt has been associated with sexual potency, fertility, and immortality. In sodium-deficient states, salt consumption is driven by salt appetite — an innate and motivated behavioral response that drives a human or animal to seek and ingest salt-containing foods and fluids. However, under usual circumstances, the ambient salt diet is in excess of physiological need, and in humans, it has been difficult to distinguish innate salt appetite and salt need from salt preference. The hunger for salt is also influenced by taste, culture, social custom, the widespread availability of salt, and habit independent of the need for salt. Despite its historical value and physiological importance, high salt consumption has been recognized as detrimental to health. In this article, we provide an overview of the current understanding of the relation of salt consumption to hypertension and cardiovascular disease." [Read on...]

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