Although it is known that Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system kills insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, researchers were not aware of the exact genes that cause the disease. A research group has now identified the location and identities of the genes that increase the risk of Type 1 diabetes. The group collected information about the genetic makeup of 27,000 individuals, including those who suffered from the disease and those who did not. Using a technique known as fine mapping, the researchers were able to narrow down about five disease-causing DNA variations from 200,000 possible locations in the genome. These findings are significant as they provide the most detailed directions about the location of genetic variations that cause Type 1 diabetes and perhaps other autoimmune diseases such as arthritis. Diabetes researchers can use these findings to focus on how genetic changes alter immune cell activity.
Read more in Science Daily.