Researchers at Birmingham University in the UK have found that the G6b-B gene regulates platelet production, with possible implications for both bleeding and clotting disorders, The Guardian reports. The article focuses on a small boy whose blood does not easily clot. "As things stand at present, Noah will never be able to play contact sports like rugby, or box, or join the armed forces. He should wear a helmet while playing but there is limit to how much you can impose on children of this age," his mother, Ruby Edwards, says. He, his mother, and his sister (who are not affected) have contributed samples to the Birmingham group's study.
Mutations in G6b-B could trigger disorders like Noah's. "The two conditions [blood clots and platelet function disorder] are complete opposites but by uncovering the key to one of them, we have given science a chance to tackle the other, more common form," says Birmingham's Yotis Senis. Additionally, such research could point toward treatments for heart attacks and strokes.