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Hunting for Huntington's genes

Sun, 9th Dec 2012

Kat Arney

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Writing in the journal PLoS Genetics, researchers in the US have developed a genetic “roadmap” that could speed up the search for new treatments for the currently incurable disease. Led by Robert Hughes, the researchers used a technique called RNA interference to systematically switch off nearly 8,000 genes in human cells, searching for genes that play an important role in the disease and affect its severity. This is the largest genome-wide search in human cells so far and has thrown up a number of exciting potential drug targets, including a gene called RRAS which they’re now investigating. The researchers have also made all their data publicly available so researchers around the rodl can get stuck in and look at new targets for Huntington’s Disease.

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