Genes Associated With Type II Diabetes Identified
Each of the cells in your body, except for your red blood cells, have a nucleus inside. That nucleus contains 23 pairs of chromosomes. Each 23 chromosomes contains about 30,000 genes. The genes contain a complete set of blueprints or instructions for how to construct your unique body. Those instructions are written in a language with the alphabet of DNA. This graphic shows you the relationship between the large-scale of the cell, and its small component, DNA:
When a mistake occurs in the language of the DNA, scientists call that a mutation. Mutations happen within all of us. Today researchers from the Imperial College London, McGill University, Canada, announced that they have published a paper in the journal Nature, published a map of gene mutations that contribute to Type II diabetes. This is exciting because the researchers claim that it is the first disease that has been almost completely mapped out genetically. It is a pretty bold claim; and, My Diabetes Information hopes that they are right.
Out of 25,000 to 30,000 genes in the human genome, how many of them contribute to diabetes? So, far it appears that the small number four accounts for about 70 percent of a person’s genetic risk of developing Type II diabetes.
Why Is This Important?
One of the researchers, Professor Philippe Froguel best explained the benefit of these findings when he said, “If we can tell someone that their genetics mean they are pre-disposed towards type-2 diabetes, they will be much more motivated to change things such as their diet to reduce their chances of developing the disorder. We can also use what we know about the specific genetic mutations associated with type-2 diabetes to develop better treatments.”
So, in the near future, a simple blood test could tell a person if they have a higher risk of developing diabetes. Testing positive would not mean that a person will automatically develop diabetes. It would mean that they are at a greater risk.