News

26
Aug
Down with flu? Your genes need to be blamed!

Posted by: Admin

Have you become a victim of flu again this year and some of your friends and colleagues always seem to avoid it?

Well, they may have more than luck on their side. Scientists have found out that however hard you try to avoid it; flu is in your genes.

A study on British volunteers revealed that some people are genetically predisposed to keep off the disease, while others are struck down year after year.

The good news for the unlucky ones is that the discovery could form the basis of a universal treatment.

Professor Peter Openshaw, of the Centre for Respiratory Infection at Imperial College, said: ‘This is very important science, really Star Trek stuff. It has very big implications for many infectious diseases, not only flu.

‘It could help with flu pandemics and even allow us to detect lethal infections such as the ebola virus at a very early stage.’

Dr Alfred Hero, the University of Michigan academic who led the research, said: ‘We looked at over 22,000 genes in 267 blood samples. No study of this magnitude has ever been done on human immune response.

‘We can start to tease out the biological conditions that might make one more resistant to getting sick.

‘We will be testing it on different strains of flu, and it may not just be flu, it may be the same for other viruses including the common cold.’


 


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