Monday, January 22, 2018

Superhero DNA Blocks These Disease From People

There are a lot of traits you can get from your parents. Some of them are learned, like the little expressions they have or the languages they speak. But for every one of these learned behaviors, there are so many other things they passed on through their DNA.

Your eye color and blood type are some of the better-known ones, but your genetic memory is a little more complex than you think. And unfortunately, some people inherit diseases whether their parents know about them or not. Over generations, mutations in this genetic chain can form and lead to some difficult childhood diseases.

And yet, it's just as possible for a different kind of mutation to pass down to you as well. Only this kind can make you seem invincible.

SHARE this and let your friends know what kind of strength might be hiding inside them.

For instance, a rare mutation can ensure some people never contract HIV.

In one landmark case, doctors used stem cells with that mutation to cure Timothy Ray Brown. So far, he's the only person this has worked on, but it's still pretty amazing.

Doctors also found a genetic solution for heart disease.

By blocking a protein called PCSK9, they were able to help the body process cholesterol better. Unfortunately, the drug that does this is incredibly expensive at the moment.

And we might be taking our first steps to targeting some inherited diseases.

Among these diseases are the life-threatening cystic fibrosis and the severely damaging Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome.

Scientists often study sufferers to get to the bottom of a disease.

But the first two cases we looked at show that there's just as much to learn from the "superheroes" who manage to defeat it.

But first, researchers had to find these superheroes.

So they looked for healthy people whose DNA should have doomed them to suffer from these diseases.

And so, they went through 589,306 cases and managed to find 13 people.

These lucky 13 showed all the genetic signs of the diseases but showed no symptoms at all. They seemed to be completely immune.

Unfortunately, this is as far as the research team can get right now.

Thanks to a clause protecting their subjects' medical records, they can't contact most of their superheroes. In some cases, it's even hard to tell who the lucky ones are.

Still, this discovery marks the first steps on a long road towards eliminating the diseases entirely.

Be sure to SHARE this on Facebook and help figure out who's really a superhero inside.

Main image via Sci Fi Elements | 20th Century Fox Film Corporation

Collage image via BBC News | Thinkstock


Author: verified_user