When I was 8 years old I had no clue that one of the most significant findings of our times was made when James D. Watson and Francis Crick described the first correct double-helix model of DNA structure. In my mid 30’s the sequence of a gene was unraveled.
Since then the understanding of the human body has developed at an astounding rate. Here are excerpts from two articles in Reuters that I just read. Hopefully these findings will benefit all of you who have touched my life while I’m still alive. Here’s hoping!
Gene that Regulates Chronic Pain
by Kate Kelland, Edited by Sitaraman Shankar
“What is exciting about the work on the HCN2 gene is that removing it — or blocking it pharmacologically — eliminates neuropathic pain without affecting normal acute pain,” McNaughton said in a statement about this work. “This finding could be very valuable clinically because normal pain sensation is essential for avoiding accidental damage.”
“Neuropathic pain, which is distinguished from inflammatory pain, is seen in patients with diabetes — a condition which affects an estimated 280 million people around the world — and as a painful after-effect of shingles and of chemotherapy in cancer patients. It is also a common factor in lower back pain and other chronic painful conditions.”
A Link that T-Cells Play Key Role in MS.
By Kate Kelland
LONDON | Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:55pm EDT
(Reuters) -” Scientists have found 29 new genetic variants linked to multiple sclerosis (MS) and say the findings should help drugmakers focus treatment research on precise areas of the immune system.
In a study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, researchers said the newly found links point to the idea that T-cells — a type of white blood cell responsible for mounting an immune response — and chemicals called interleukin play a key role in the development of the debilitating disease.”