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Multiple Sclerosis breakthrough

Two groups of scientists, from the US and Cambridge University, have reported the biggest breakthrough in decades into the genetic drivers for multiple sclerosis.

They investigated more than 20,000 samples of DNA. They found crucial variants on two genes which play a role in guiding the T cells that patrol the body for intruders. The gene variants boost the risk of MS by 20 to 30 percent.

My friend, Nadine, who died in June of MS, was sure that researchers would find a cure, "right after I leave". There is much more to be done, but this sounds like a big step forward.

It was made possible because Watson, Crick, Wilkins, and Franklin discovered DNA, and Frederick Sanger, also at Cambridge, developed gene sequencing. In 1990, after Americans and Brits established the human genome project, they were joined by an international consortium of scientists from France, Japan, Germany, and China. Since then cooperation and competition have inspired advances.

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