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From this large cohort -- roughly 21,000 individuals with type 2 diabetes and 25,000 healthy controls -- the researchers identified four genes with rare variants that affect diabetes risk. The data suggests that hundreds more genes will likely be identified in the future.
These genes and the proteins they encode are potential targets for new medicines, and may guide researchers to better understand and treat disease.
Team - Results - Online - Type - Diabetes
All of the team's results are publicly available online through the Type 2 Diabetes Knowledge Portal (www.type2diabetesgenetics.org), enabling scientists around the world to access and use the information for their own research.
"These results demonstrate the importance of studying large samples of individuals from a wide range of ancestries," said senior study author Michael Boehnke, professor of biostatistics and director of the Center for Statistical Genetics at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. "Most large population studies focus on individuals of European ancestry, and that can make it hard to generalize the results globally. The more diverse the cohort makes for better, more informative science."
Picture - Role - DNA - Variations - Diabetes
"We now have an updated picture of the role of rare DNA variations in diabetes," said Jason Flannick, first author on the study. "These rare variants potentially provide a much more valuable resource for drug development than previously thought. We can actually detect evidence of their disease association in many genes that could be targeted by new medications or studied to understand the fundamental processes underlying disease." Flannick is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and the Division of Genetics and Genomics at Boston Children's Hospital, and an associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
Other senior authors include Mark McCarthy, professor of diabetic medicine at the University of Oxford, and Jose Florez, chief of the endocrine division and diabetes unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, a...
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