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People with 'superhero DNA' are resistant to severe inherited diseases

12/04/2016

People with 'superhero DNA' are resistant to severe inherited diseasesA study of almost 600,000 people has found that some individuals are born with "superhero DNA", which has the ability to cancel out certain diseases such as cystic fibrosis.

According to the findings of the US research, 13 people from the study group were found to be resistant to severe inherited diseases. The hope is that there could be more people across the world and that their DNA could lead to life-changing new treatments being developed.

The 13 unnamed individuals were found to carry genetic mutations which are linked to a number of childhood diseases. However, against the odds, they all remained healthy.

But the researchers do not know who these people are because of the anonymity issues associated with studying DNA stored in data banks.

Each one of the 13 should have been susceptible to so-called Mendelian disorders, which usually begin in early childhood and are the result of defects in a single gene. Cystic fibrosis is an example of a Mendelian disorder.

"Millions of years of evolution have produced far more protective mechanisms than we currently understand," said Dr Eric Schadt from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

The findings of the study were recently published in Nature Biotechnology.
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