April 11, 2016

BBC News: ‘Superhero DNA’ keeps diseases at bay

BBC News: ‘Superhero DNA’ keeps diseases at bay

Some people appear to be born with ‘superhero DNA’ that cancels out genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis, say researchers.

The study of nearly 600,000 people found 13 who should have developed debilitating diseases, but did not.

The hope is discovering what, against the odds, keeps them healthy and if that could lead to new therapies.

Experts said the approach, published in Nature Biotechnology, was “fascinating” but that it was still early days.

Errors in our code of life – our DNA – can cause disease.

Large numbers of studies have tried to understand these mutations by looking at people who become ill.

But the international team of researchers tried the opposite approach – searching for people harbouring damaging mutations but who remain healthy.

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