|dongascience.com / Human Knockout Project’s Method of Genetic Analysis(b) Compared with the General Method(a)|
Won Hong-hee, professor of Fusion Medicine at SKKU, participated in an international team of researchers from the Human Knockout Project and announced the results of a largescale genetic survey in Pakistan. The Human Knockout Project is genetic research that aims to discover the genetic functions of humans by applying the ‘knockout’ process. The easiest way to figure out the function of a gene is by breaking the gene, or ‘knocking it out.’ After the gene is lost, it is possible to observe the change that occurred and discover the function of the gene which was destroyed. This method can raise many ethical issues to be applied to humans, so it is mostly used on animals such as fruit flies and rats. People born of family intermarriage, however, go through a natural knockout process and this is relatively common in Pakistan. Researchers conducted a survey of 10,503 Pakistani people, and 40% of the respondents were born of intermarriage. After a mass genetic analysis by Professor Won, six new genetic functions were discovered. A gene called APOC3 prevented cardiovascular diseases while LP-PLA2, which was known to increase the risk of heart disease, was actually not associated with cardiovascular problems. Professor Won said, “These new genetic functions discovered will contribute to large clinical trials related to the effects of medicine.” Other new genetic functions revealed were related to inflammatory reactions, insulin, and calcium mediation. The results of this study were announced in the international science journal, Nature, on April 13th.
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