Thursday, April 11, 2024

Scientists crack mystery of how MS gene spread


In this article by Philippa Roxby, the author discusses research into why certain diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) are more common in certain parts of Europe.

To determine why, researchers extracted genetic information from 5,000 ancient humans. The discovered that the gene increasing the risk of MS entered North-Western Europe around 5,000 years ago along with the arrival of a population of nomadic cattle herders. It was discovered that that MS is driven by genes that would have protected the herders against diseases carried by their cattle. In the modern age, due to vastly different lifestyles, these gene variants are now associated with a higher risk of diseases such as MS.

The attached articles were also quite interesting to me. In the second article, something that stood out to me was a quote from a scientist not associated with the study. She stated that studies such as this should be extended outside of Europe to understand how historical population differences contribute to the risk of autoimmune diseases. I emphatically agree with her; I generally find that I only hear about discoveries such as this taking place in Europe. I believe we as scientists need to broaden our horizons and extend our research worldwide. 

Article: Scientists crack mystery of how MS gene spread

Additional Information: Gene that protected humans 5,000 years ago may be linked to debilitating modern disease

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating to see that genes that were once helpful to an organism have in a ways become unhelpful. The study of such diseases should be broadened to cover the more of the human population across the globe.