News of the WeekGENES AND DISEASE

Immune Gene Linked to vCJD Susceptibility

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Science  16 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5546, pp. 1438-1439
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5546.1438b

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Summary

Researchers have found that a common variation of an immune system gene may offer some protection against variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease--the fatal neurodegenerative disease linked to eating cattle infected with "mad cow disease." The new finding--the second genetic factor discovered so far that influences susceptibility to the disease--may help to identify high-risk individuals and provide some clues to the modus operandi of this mysterious, incurable malady.