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From Blood to Tooth Fairies Dr Sue Ring ResearchFest 9 th September 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "From Blood to Tooth Fairies Dr Sue Ring ResearchFest 9 th September 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 From Blood to Tooth Fairies Dr Sue Ring ResearchFest 9 th September 2012

2 Sue Ring Head of Laboratories

3 From blood to tooth fairies ALSPAC Samples The Laboratory Blood Processing Blood Related Research Findings Tooth Research

4 ALSPAC Samples

5 Helen Pearson (2012), Nature 484,

6 ALSPAC Samples 15,000 urine samples 16,000 saliva samples 20,000 toe nails 25,000 hair samples 6,000 slices umbilical cord 100,000 Blood tubes 6,000 milk teeth 8,000 Placentas

7 Background to Laboratory

8 14 in total : Researchers, technicians, students, Bioinformatics and IT support Sample Processing DNA Cell lines Analysis LAB TEAM

9 Storage Facilities 1.2 Million individual tubes20,000 cell lines 30,000 DNA samples

10 Blood Processing

11 White cells Cell lines DNA RNA Spin blood sample at 3500rpm to separate

12 Cell line production Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes (white blood cells) isolated from blood Add Epstein Barr Virus and put in solution containing sugars, protein and growth factors. 37 o C for 6 to 8 weeks feed every 3 to 4 days Transformed cell line which will grow indefinitely and provide infinite supply of cells and DNA

13 White cells Cell lines DNA RNA Spin blood sample at 3500rpm to separate PLASMA Cellular assays Biomarkers A measurable substance in an organism whose presence is indicative of some phenomenon such as disease, infection, or environmental exposure.

14 Blood Related Research Findings

15 Coeliac Disease (Bingley et al (2004) BMJ 328; ) < 1 in 2,500 children diagnosed Subclinical disease common in adults, is it in children? Measured antibody (IgA-EMA) in blood samples taken at 7yr clinic –5470 children tested 1% had IgA-EMA –Shorter and weighed less (equivalent to 9 months growth) –Higher incidence of diarrhoea and overall intestinal symptoms but not vomiting, stomach pain or constipation Ie – similar frequency of undetected in children and adults Consequences of undiagnosed condition not yet established but indicate that if screening is ever considered should start in childhood Long term follow up can be looked at in CO90s in adulthood to see if long term effects

16 Long-chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (LC-PUFA) Lattka et al (2012) british Journal of Nutrition -in press Important in maintenance of metabolism and health In pregnancy important for brain growth, visual and cognitive development Obtain LC-PUFA from –Diet – fish, eggs –Synthesised by body from essential fatty acids from vegetable oils Controlled by enzymes – desaturases Fatty Acid desaturase (FADS) genes code for the enzymes –Minor variants in FADS genes alter efficiency of enzymes and decrease the amount of LC-PUFA people with the variants can make.

17 What happens during pregnancy? Looked at mother and child genes and at levels of LC-PUFA in cord blood at birth. Does foetus obtain all LC-PUFA from mother or can it synthesis itself? –BOTH – Some types of LC-PUFA are present at levels predicted by Mums genotypes and others by childs »Newborn metabolism greater capacity to synthesise more highly unsaturated omega-6 fatty acids and some evidence to show DHA but not all processes appear to be active –Also looked at blood taken at 7yrs of age when all influence of mothers genotype had disappeared and levels of all LC-PUFA reflect childs genotype – ie by 7yrs childs metabolism fully functioning. (Steer et al 2012 Human Molecular Genetics 21;

18 Work to date has measured a small number of biomarkers in samples. Samples from early time points are especially valuable. High throughput methodology which uses very small volumes of sample to measure many different markers is now becoming affordable. Anticipate large increase in number of projects and publications utilising biological samples in next few years.

19 Metabolomics – Professor Mika Ala-Korpela "systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind 216 serum metabolic markers from each sample in one experiment

20 Tooth Related Research

21 Tooth Research Dr Louise Humphrey - Natural History Museum Professor Christopher Dean - University College London Teeth represent an archive of infancy – still learning what it means Project is exploring how structure and chemistry of deciduous teeth relates to health and diet in first year of life Teeth form during pregnancy and in first year of life – growth process recorded in marks in enamel - The Straie of Retzius which occur every 8-10 days, similar to tree rings Accentuated lines - Permanent record of growth disruptions experienced while the tooth is forming, eg caused by flu or chicken pox. We are hoping to find out more about the causes of these accentuated lines. Laser ablation – chemical composition

22 Polished section Dentine Enamel cusp ( Image courtesy of Christopher Dean

23 Striae of Retzius: regular growth lines Accentuated Line: growth disruption Growth markers in enamel (image courtesy of Christopher Dean )

24 Tooth Research Dr Louise Humphrey - Natural History Museum Professor Christopher Dean - University College London Teeth represent an archive of infancy – still learning what it means Project is exploring how structure and chemistry of deciduous teeth relates to health and diet in first year of life Teeth form during pregnancy and in first year of life – growth process recorded in marks in enamel - The Straie of Retzius which occur every 8-10 days, similar to tree rings Accentuated lines - Permanent record of growth disruptions experienced while the tooth is forming, eg caused by flu or chicken pox. We are hoping to find out more about the causes of these accentuated lines. Laser ablation – chemical composition Neonatal Line – Expression may relate to the type of birth and other factors such as birth weight or gestation length.

25 Neonatal line in a deciduous tooth (image courtesy of Christopher Dean)

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