A study taken place in Pakistan examined the DNA of over 10,000 people for those who had two nonfunctioning gene copies likely caused by mutations that inactivate, or knock out, certain genes. According to the article, “The study suggests that human knockouts could prove valuable evidence for understanding how genes work and for developing drugs.” Studying how the knockout mutations affect certain traits (such as heart rate, blood pressure and blood levels of sugar, cholesterol, hormones or other substances) could point to genes that are potentially safe and effective targets for new drugs.
This is an incredible study that will in turn lead to future strides in the understanding of human diseases and the genetic basis for such inquiries. Reading up on the latest genetic news in science websites is giving me optimism for the future in terms of knowledge of current unknowns and I am excited to be a part of the next generation of science majors who will contribute to such a crucial field of study.
Primary article: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v544/n7649/full/nature22034.html