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Jurilab Finds New Heart Attack Genes in Genome-wide Scan of Finnish Founder Population

NEW YORK, Aug. 17 (GenomeWeb News) - Finnish population genetics company Jurilab said last week it has discovered over 200 new genes related to acute myocardial infarction.

These results come from a genome-wide scan that the company and collaborators at the University of Kuopio performed on the East Finland Founder Population, a collection of DNA samples assembled in the 1980s that can be traced back to several hundred founders of the community who lived in the 1600s, according to the company. The collection also includes clinical data on coronary disease-related events from a nearly 20-year study of the population.

In the study, scientists from Jurilab compared samples of DNA from patients with disease to those of healthy controls. The team genotyped over 100,000 SNPS that cover the majority of structural blocks in the genomes of the patients and control, then analyzed the data using the company's proprietary software. Their results, they said, not only confirmed prior data on genes found to be associated with acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack, but also included new data on genes that appear to protect against coronary disease.

This genome-wide scan "constitutes a proof-of-concept for Jurilab's fast and inexpensive gene discovery approach," Jukka T. Salonen, Jurilab's chief scientific officer, said in ia statement. "We are in the process of carrying out similar studies in our main focus areas of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases," he added.

The company, based in Kuopio, Finland, received funding for the study from Tekes, the National Technology Agency of Finland.

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