A Pair of Great News: Stem Cells Without the Embryo and Exciting Genetic Advances

This one will be quick for a change.

Research reported this week by three different groups shows that normal skin cells can be reprogrammed to an embryonic state [a.k.a. stem cells] in mice. The race is now on to apply the surprisingly straightforward procedure to human cells.

There is increasing evidence that genome-wide association (GWA) studies represent a powerful approach to the identification of genes involved in common human diseases. We describe a joint GWA study (using the Affymetrix GeneChip 500K Mapping Array Set) undertaken in the British population, which has examined approx 2,000 individuals for each of 7 major diseases and a shared set of approx 3,000 controls. Case-control comparisons identified 24 independent association signals […]: 1 in bipolar disorder, 1 in coronary artery disease, 9 in Crohn’s disease, 3 in rheumatoid arthritis, 7 in type 1 diabetes and 3 in type 2 diabetes. On the basis of prior findings and replication studies thus-far completed, almost all of these signals reflect genuine susceptibility effects. […]

Our findings offer new avenues for exploring the pathophysiology of these important disorders. We anticipate that our data, results and software, which will be widely available to other investigators, will provide a powerful resource for human genetics research.

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One Response to “A Pair of Great News: Stem Cells Without the Embryo and Exciting Genetic Advances”

  1. Crohn's Disese Says:

    I’m very afraid about crohn’s disease. I have some symtoms in abdominal pain, often in the lower right area, and diarrhea. Should I go to see the doctor? Please help.

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