What is it about?
This study searched the human genome for variants which may drive asthma risk. To this end, it capitalized on previous studies conducted in ethnically diverse populations. The findings confirm a prominent role of mechnisms related to the immune system in asthma rick. Here, a lot of the detected genetic variants are involved in immune responses to viruses or bacteria which hints towards the importance of infections in asthma risk.
Why is it important?
This study doubles the sample sizes of previous efforts but replicates findings from the previous studies despite pooling data from ethincally diverse populations which may decrease statistical power to detect associations. Conversely, this pooling of diverse populations can also increase the statistical power to identify new genetic variants - a goal that was successfully met with this study. The newly identified genetic variants may provide new insights for future research and, subsequently, asthma prevention and therapy.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Multiancestry association study identifies new asthma risk loci that colocalize with immune-cell enhancer marks, Nature Genetics, December 2017, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/s41588-017-0014-7.
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