Duke University scientists now have identified these "silenced genes," creating the first map of this unique group of about 200 genes believed to play a profound role in people's health.
More intriguing, the work marks an important step in studying how our environment - food, stress, pollution - interacts with genes to help determine why some people get sick and others do not.
"What we have is a bag of gold nuggets," lead researcher Dr. Randy Jirtle said about the collection of "imprinted" genes. The team's findings were published online Friday by the journal Genome Research.
Next comes work to prove exactly what role these genes play. "Some will be real gold and some will be fool's gold," Jirtle added.
newsobserver.com Duke scientists identify 'silenced genes'
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