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A study published in the journal Nature Genetics used genetic data from nearly a million people across Europe and North America to highlight some of the key ways in which type 2 diabetes develops, and to find several genes which could be attractive targets for the creation of new therapeutic drugs.

Largest ever diabetes genetics study uncovers mechanisms behind type 2 diabetes.jpg

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Together with colleagues from a global consortium of scientists, researchers from the Radcliffe Department of Medicine and the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics at Oxford University analysed nearly 20 trillion data points to produce the most comprehensive catalogue so far of the places within the human genome where DNA sequence changes alter a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes occurs when the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, leading to elevated levels of glucose in the blood. Type 1 diabetes usually starts in childhood and is due to permanent loss of the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes typically develops later in life, and a person’s risk depends on the combination of genetic and lifestyle factors (such as diet and exercise, through their impact on a person’s weight).

Find out more (University of Oxford website)