Catalogue of DNA helps locate roots of disease

accreditation
iStock

A huge catalogue of human DNA is helping researchers find tiny glitches that cause disease, in part by pointing out some false leads.

The database contains genetic codes from more than 60,000 people. It's aimed at researching rare diseases that are generally caused by a single malfunctioning gene. Most of these diseases are so uncommon that the general public has never heard of them, but there are thousands of such conditions, and as a group they affect about 1 percent of births.

An analysis presented in the journal Nature shows that the database can be used to correct the record for tiny variations in DNA that were incorrectly thought to cause disease.

Read more:

DNA tests: For which diseases?

Scientists might soon store info in human DNA

Technique to limit transfer of faulty DNA to embryos

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 1821 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
50% - 8692 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
36% - 6228 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 606 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.42
-1.4%
Rand - Pound
19.86
-1.1%
Rand - Euro
16.74
-0.8%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.54
-0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-1.7%
Gold
1,774.64
-1.5%
Silver
20.16
-3.2%
Palladium
2,152.00
-3.4%
Platinum
934.50
-3.3%
Brent Crude
98.15
-1.5%
Top 40
64,054
+0.1%
All Share
70,761
+0.0%
Resource 10
63,353
-1.1%
Industrial 25
86,991
+0.5%
Financial 15
16,146
+0.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE