Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Another Gene-Based Heart Disease Discovery

Dr.Davis of Track Your Plaque likes to emphasize the benefit of having a positive attitude when battling heart disease. Well, here is some additional optimism. Researchers are continuing their search for the "Holy Grail" of heart disease and have found yet another gene-marker for heart disease on human chromosome 9 (you may recall my earlier blog on another gene marker - it is a good refresher on genomics). Better yet, the discovery was made independently by two separate labs which greatly increases its validity. The abstracts for the two studies can be found at and while a synopsis of both pieces of research appears on Medscape at (free membership needed to access).

What is most interesting is that the DNA sequence is not part of any known gene so it does not code to produce any protein. These areas were once thought to be nothing but "junk" DNA but this discovery leads credence to the theory that these areas serve some yet unknown purpose.

Of course, just knowing you have the gene sequence or "SNP" (my daughter tells me to say "snip" if you want to speak like a savyy biochemist - you can read more at my earlier blog on another heart disease gene) would be useful. A company in Iceland reports it hopes to have a home test kit on the market in about one year. However, the real prize is to develop techniques to alter heart disease genes to render them harmless. Once all the genes for high cholesterol and other heart disease factors factors been identified and can be corrected, heart disease will truly be cured - and with no drugs!

We are getting closer every day!

Optimistically Yours,


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