The Baltimore Sun's Andrea Walker reports on a new undertaking by researchers at Johns Hopkins University to "map the genetic code for asthma in people of African descent in hopes of better understanding why the disease and other allergy-related ailments disproportionately afflict that population." In the largest study of its kind to date, Walker says the Johns Hopkins researchers "will leverage data from other genome projects to take the first wide-scale look at how hereditary factors affect African-Americans who have the disease" with support from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Immunogeneticist Kathleen Barnes tells the Sun that one goal of the study is to "develop better medicines for people with asthma because we will be able to target the protein associated with the disease." Barnes adds that in the future, the research might also be used to develop gene therapies to reduce people's susceptibility to asthma.
Genetics of Asthma
Dec 31, 2011