Gene quest

Medical research is undergoing a sea change in its approach to linking genes to disease.

Instead of hunting individual mutant genes — a painstaking, expensive process — researchers are more often turning to a bold, computer-driven technique that allows for fast, cheap scanning of vast regions of DNA for anomalies that can make people more susceptible to a disease or even directly trigger illness.

It’s not a diagnostic tool yet, but so-called “genome-wide association” research has over the past months produced dramatic results linking hitherto unexplored patches of genetic terrain with such common killers as heart disease and diabetes.

Source:  Boston Globe

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