Sunday, October 2, 2011

Speed-bumps ahead for the genetics of later-life diseases

This article expands on the ideas of Eric S. Lander by investigating further into the genetic makeup of common disease, with a focus on later-life diseases. With age as the dominant risk factor for many diseases, researchers want to know what role genetics play in the aging process. Chance plays a large part in late-onset diseases because of the weakening of natural selection, the complexity of late-life traits, and the fact that aging is largely determined by molecular and cellular damage. While GWAS have revealed a number of genes associated with diseases such as Alzheimer's, researchers suspect that there are many more genes with smaller effects that collectively cause ageing.

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