Tartu scientists showed that people’s descent plays important role in genetic risk estimation | University of Tartu
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Contacts of UT units

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Faculty phone: 
(+372) 737 5341
Faculty address: 
Jakobi 2 - 116-121, 51014, Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5341
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 116 - 121, 51014, Tartu
  • Institute of History and Archaeology
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5651
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51003, Tartu
  • Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5221
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51014, Tartu
  • Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5314
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, III, rooms 309-352, 51014, Tartu
  • Institute of Cultural Research and Arts
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5223
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 16, 51003, Tartu
  • School of Theology and Religious Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5301
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18-310, 50090, Tartu
  • College of Foreign Languages and Cultures
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, 51003, Tartu
  • Viljandi Culture Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 435 5232
    Faculty address: 
    Posti 1, 71004, Viljandi
Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty phone: 
(+372) 737 5957
Faculty address: 
Lossi 36, 51003, Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5900
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003, Tartu
  • Institute of Education
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6440
    Faculty address: 
    Salme 1a, room 29, 50103, Tartu
  • Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5582
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, roomm 301, 51003, Tartu
  • School of Economics and Business Administration
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6310
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 4-A315, 51009, Tartu
  • Institute of Psychology
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5902
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 2, 50409, Tartu
  • School of Law
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  • Institute of Social Studies
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    Lossi 36, 51003, Tartu
  • Narva College
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    Raekoja plats 2, 20307, Narva
  • Pärnu College
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Faculty of Medicine
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(+372) 737 5326
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Ravila 19, 50411, Tartu
  • Dean's Office
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    (+372) 737 5326
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine
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    +(372) 737 4210
    Faculty address: 
    Biomeedikum, Ravila 19, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Pharmacy
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    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Dentistry
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    Raekoja plats 6, 51003, Tartu
  • Institute of Clinical Medicine
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    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 8, 51014, Tartu, Eesti
  • Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health
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    (+372) 737 4190
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5360
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 5-205, 51014, Tartu
Faculty of Science and Technology
Faculty phone: 
(+372) 737 5820
Faculty address: 
Vanemuise 46-208, 51014, Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5820
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46 - 208, 51014, Tartu
  • Institute of Computer Science
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5445
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409, Tartu
  • Estonian Marine Institute
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 671 8902
    Faculty address: 
    Mäealuse 14, 12618, Tallinn
  • Institute of Physics
    Faculty address: 
    W. Ostwaldi Str 1, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Chemistry
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5261
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 14a, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5860
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409, Tartu
  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
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    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23, 23b-134, 51010, Tartu
  • Institute of Technology
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    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
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    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51014, Tartu
Institutions
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    Faculty address: 
    W.Struve 1, 50091, Tartu
  • Youth Academy
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    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 38, 51003, Tartu
  • Estonian Genome Center
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    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23b, 51010, Tartu
  • Museum
    Faculty phone: 
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    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 25, 51014, Tartu
  • University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden
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    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51014, Tartu
Support Units
  • Administrative Office
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    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51014, Tartu
  • University Office in Tallinn
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    Faculty address: 
    Teatri väljak 3, 10143 Tallinn
  • Estates Office
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    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51014, Tartu
  • Finance Office
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    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 4, 51014, Tartu
  • Information Technology Office
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  • Internal Audit Office
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  • Marketing and Communication Office
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  • Office of Academic Affairs
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    Ülikooli 18, 50090, Tartu
  • Office of Research and Development
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  • Human Resources Office
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    Ülikooli 18, rooms 302 and 304, 50090, Tartu
  • Rector's Strategy Office
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    Ülikooli 18, 51014, Tartu
  • Student Council
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  • Tartu Students’ Club
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    Kalevi 24, 51010 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Press
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  • Tartu University Hospital
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  • University of Tartu Foundation
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  • View all other units

Tartu scientists showed that people’s descent plays important role in genetic risk estimation

Photo: www.khn.org

In a recently published article, Tartu scientists showed that unless an individual’s genetic descent is taken into account, his or her DNA-based estimation of disease risk may provide incorrect results.

In the case of many complex diseases, for example the coronary heart disease and the type 2 diabetes, the disease risk is not affected by one or two, but thousands or even tens of thousands of gene markers available in the human hereditary substance, DNA. Each one of them has a relatively small effect if taken separately but the aggregate impact is considerable.

This is why different mathematical models have been developed in the world and also in Estonia, attempting to take into account all these gene markers and sum up the combinations that increase the specific person’s risk and, based on the obtained result – the so-called risk score – determine the person’s disease risk as low, medium or high.

“In the article we showed that the thresholds required for risk estimation are not universal, but are significantly dependent on the genetic descent of the person. A risk score that means a high probability of the expression of a disease for an Estonian, may be a low one for an African,” one of the authors of the article Sulev Reisberg explained the finding. Reisberg added that therefore it is extremely important to adjust the score according to the person’s descent before giving the risk estimation. “This may prove really complicated if the individual is not a typical representative of the population genetically, and if their roots are mixed. Often the person may not even know his or her exact descent.”

Authors of the article do not say how precisely to adjust the risk score – this is a topic for further research. “It was important to first of all estimate the possible effect. When we know the problem, we can start looking for a solution – either by eliminating a part of the people from risk estimations to avoid giving them incorrect feedback, or by adjusting the score to match their genetic background,” said leader of the research group Professor Jaak Vilo.

Authors of the article are scientists from the University of Tartu Institute of Computer Science, Estonian Genome Centre, Software Technology and Applications Competence Center and Quretec.

The article was published in PLOS ONE journal and the original text is available here: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0179238

Additional information: Sulev Reisberg, PhD student, +372 524 8123, sulev.reisberg [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp
University of Tartu Press Officer
Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689
E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

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