In Iceland’s DNA, New Clues to Disease-Causing Genes

Scientists in Iceland have produced an unprecedented snapshot of a nation’s genetic makeup, discovering a host of previously unknown gene mutations that may play roles in ailments as diverse as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and gallstonesNew York Times reports. 

“This is amazing work, there’s no question about it,” said Daniel G. MacArthur, a geneticist at Massachusetts General Hospital who was not involved in the research. “They’ve now managed to get more genetic data on a much larger chunk of the population than in any other country in the world.”

In a series of papers published on Wednesday in the journal Nature Genetics, researchers at Decode, an Icelandic genetics firm owned by Amgen, described sequencing the genomes — the complete DNA — of 2,636 Icelanders, the largest collection ever analyzed in a single human population, NYT writes.

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