5.12.2009

Are Mexicans genetically susceptible to H1N1 virus?

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2009-05-11-genome_N.htm
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Although the findings are preliminary, a study released Monday raises the possibility that the H1N1 flu has been deadlier in Mexicans than in others because they are genetically more susceptible to the infection.[...or genetically targeted!]
The research, from Mexico's National Institute of Genomic Medicine, found genetic variations in Mexican Mestizos — people of mixed European and Amerindian ancestry who represent more than 80% of that country's population — that could affect their risk of diseases and their response to treatments.
The Human Genome Project, a global effort that identified all the genes in human chromosomes, found that any two individuals' genomes are 99% identical. Compared with the world's three main "ancestral" populations — Caucasian, African and Asian — the Mestizos had significant genetic differences, researchers report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"Beyond the current topic of influenza, we're experiencing huge increases in very complex diseases like diabetes," Julio Frenk, Mexico's health minister when the genomic medicine institute was created five years ago, said at a news conference.
The study involved anonymous blood samples from 330 unrelated Mexicans who described themselves as Mestizos and lived in seven Mexican states, three of which are the main source of immigrants to the USA, said lead author Gerardo Jimenez-Sanchez, genomic medicine institute head.
[In other words: Welcome to the age of genetic discrimination!]
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