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Study Details What Activates Disease-Causing Genes - By GINA KOLATA NYTimes.com

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At www.nytimes.com

'It has been one of the toughest problems in genetics. How do investigators figure out not just what genes are involved in causing a disease, but what turns those genes on or off? What makes one person with the genes get the disease and another not? Now, in a pathbreaking paper, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden report a way to evaluate one gene-regulation system: chemical tags that tell genes to be active or not.... It was much more complicated than just studying genes themselves. Researchers know a gene will remain stable, but the chemical tags that turn the genes on and off are not so reliable. Their presence can be affected by the environment or medications or even the activity of other, distant genes. They can be a consequence of a disease or set off a disease.'

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At www.nytimes.com

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