New Study IDs Powerful “Switches” in Human Genome

This is a little out of the ordinary for us.  But, in case you missed it, the New York Times has a piece on a recent study that is likely to have a dramatic impact on our understanding and use of genetics:

Among the many mysteries of human biology is why complex diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and psychiatric disorders are so difficult to predict and, often, to treat. An equally perplexing puzzle is why one individual gets a disease like cancer or depression, while an identical twin remains perfectly healthy.

Now scientists have discovered a vital clue to unraveling these riddles. The human genome is packed with at least four million gene switches that reside in bits of DNA that once were dismissed as “junk” but that turn out to play critical roles in controlling how cells, organs and other tissues behave. The discovery, considered a major medical and scientific breakthrough, has enormous implications for human health because many complex diseases appear to be caused by tiny changes in hundreds of gene switches.

These findings are likely to extend far beyond health care.  You can read the full story here.

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