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Feb 8, 2008

Scientists Link Gene Locus to LDL Cholesterol Levels

  • University of Cambridge investigators report finding a new gene locus associated with levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood. The scientists performed a genome-wide association study of LDL cholesterol concentrations. Their analysis used genetic data from 11,685 participants across five studies.

    They found evidence for an association between LDL cholesterol and the chromosome region 1p13.3. The magnitude of the association was consistent across the studies examined and showed independent evidence for statistical association in each study, according to Cambridge team.

    “These results potentially provide insight into the biological mechanisms that underlie the regulation of LDL cholesterol and might help in the discovery of novel therapeutic targets for cardiovascular disease,” wrote the authors.

    The paper is published in the February 8 edition of The Lancet.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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