Genes Give Up Secrets of 7 Serious Diseases

Landmark study sheds light on diabetes, depression, more
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2007 8:18 AM CDT
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(Newser) – In an outcome one scientist describes as a "new dawn," researchers have identified genetic variations linked to seven common diseases, opening the door to improved tests and treatments. The study, which focused on depression, Crohn's disease, coronary artery disease, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, and Type 1 and 2 diabetes, also found unexpected links between some of the ailments.

The study looked for common variations in the DNA of a huge sample—17,000 people—and pegged thousands of genes at least correlatively related to the diseases. "If you think of the genome as a very long dark road, we can now turn on lights in a large number of places," one researcher tells the BBC.