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Research Sheds New Light on Heritability of Disease

Study explores the role DNA plays to predispose individuals to diseases such as type 2 diabetes

BOSTON - A group of international researchers, led by a research fellow in the Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife, published a paper today in Cell describing a study aimed at better understanding how inherited genetic differences, or variants, predispose certain individuals to develop diseases such as type 2 diabetes. The study integrated computational methodology with experimentation to address and prove underlying genetic causes of type 2 diabetes. In principle, the new methodology can be applied to any common disease, including osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. The hope is that with better understanding of how DNA functions in these individuals, new treatments will follow.