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New Gene Identification Help Asthma Treatments

Scientists have discovered a gene that might be responsible for asthma. Scientists believe that this might lead to new understanding of the disease, hence leading to better treatments. There are about 10 genes that have a significant effect on a person's susceptibility to asthma. With combined efforts internationally, doctors have identified about half of these genes. This new gene, PHF11, was found on chromosome 13, a chromosome that was known to contain an asthma-related gene that had until now gone unidentified.// Scientists say that the asthma variant of PHF11 is found to be most common in adults with severe asthma, but it may also be involved in milder asthma and even allergic eczema in children. The gene appears to regulate B cells that produce the antibody immunoglobulin E. These findings could help switch off immunoglobulin E to prevent allergic reactions. However scientists said the challenge of translating genetic findings into new treatments cannot be accomplished overnight.

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