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Study identifies genetic basis of human metabolic individuality
Date:10/26/2011

cipants. Most of the SNPs were located in genes known to encode proteins involved in the relevant metabolic pathways. Fifteen of the SNPs had previously been associated with metabolism-related conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, gout, diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, cancer and adverse drug reactions. But the new findings also uncovered a wealth of new associations that link the genetic makeup of a person to his or her biochemical capacities. This data is publicly available in an online database, accessible at http://www.gwas.eu.

Given the exceptional size of the dataset, the researchers prioritized the data to focus on 37 SNPs that were most strongly associated with metabolic traits, 23 of which had never been described before. The 37 SNPs had very large effects on the individuals' metabolite levels and can be considered to constitute what the authors call the "genetic basis of human metabolic individuality."

First author Dr. Karsten Suhre, professor of physiology and biophysics and director of the Bioinformatics Core at Weill Cornell Medical CollegeQatar, says, "These findings will enable researchers to identify new and potentially relevant metabolic processes and pathways. Two highly sophisticated biochemical measurement methods -- genetics and metabolomics -- applied to only two drops of blood can reveal deep insights into the genetic make up of our metabolic capacities. In addition to providing functional insights into the genetic basis of metabolic traits and complex diseases, this information is a way to understand an individual's uniqueness so as to develop highly targeted, personalized therapies and enable novel types of treatments or prevent adverse drug reactions."


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Contact: John Rodgers
jdr2001@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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