The true potential of the human genome is uncovered in an article published in Nature. The study compares 2,000 cases each of seven common diseases with 3,000 shared control patients, and unveils new genetic associations with these disorders. A pair of related papers in Nature Genetics offer further insights into two of the seven diseases investigated.
In the Nature article, researchers from the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium report genetic variants associated with the development of bipolar disorder, Crohn's disease, coronary heart disease, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and hypertension. In the first study from this large scope, the scientists found one genetic region newly associated with bipolar disorder, and another with coronary artery disease. A separate group of three markers are associated with rheumatoid arthritis. The authors also identify nine new genetic associations for Crohn's disease and ten chromosome regions that contain genes related to diabetes.
Separate papers in Nature Genetics support the new insights into the chromosome regions involved in Crohn's disease - reporting strong association for six new loci - and detail replication of some of the results for type 1 diabetes.
Peter Donnelly, Miles Parkes, John Todd and colleagues believe their findings offer avenues of research for each of the seven disorders. This work represents a major step towards dissecting the biological bases of common diseases; future work is already focusing on translating the findings into improvements in human health.
Peter Donnelly (Chair, Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium, University of Oxford, UK)
Craig Brierley (Media Officer, Wellcome Trust, London, UK)
Anne M. Bowcock (Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, USA)
Miles Parkes (Addenbrooke's Hospital & University of Cambridge, UK)
John Todd (Addenbrooke's Hospital & University of Cambridge, UK)
Abstracts of Nature Genetics articles available online:
Abstract of Article 1
Abstract of Article 2
(C) Nature press release.
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