NewsAAAS Meeting

Gene Diversity Muddles Heart Disease Story

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Science  27 Feb 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5355, pp. 1307
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5355.1307a

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Findings reported at the meeting suggest that healthy people have such widespread variation in one candidate heart disease gene, the gene coding for a protein called lipoprotein lipase (an enzyme that can reduce blood levels of certain fats linked to heart disease), that it is virtually impossible, for now, to tease out mutations that increase risk of the disease. Population geneticists studying one region of the gene found a high degree of variation among healthy people from three different ethnic groups, making it difficult to figure out which mutations are causal and thereby design simple genetic screens for the disease.