Scientist say Evolution may be the Cause of Gene Variations that Lead to Diabetes
Diabetes is a complex disease and according to scientists, it just got a lot more complex. Scientists Stanford University School of Medicine is studying the genetic variations in the hormone involved in the secretion of insulin. The hormone has a molecule that regulates blood sugar levels. This molecule is seen more often in some human populations that in others.
The New Gene Variant
What seems to have the scientist most puzzled is this “new” gene variant. The only thing new about this gene variant is that scientists just recently discovered it. It seems it has been around between 2,000 and 12,000 years!
Diabetics with the New Gene Variant
Apparently, some diabetics have higher fasting levels of blood glucose than those with the more traditional, or ancestral, form of the gene. “The researchers identified five genes with genetic differences that occurred frequently in Asians and/or Europeans, but infrequently in Africans. (These groups were pre-identified as part of the HapMap project, which sampled people of Nigerian, Chinese, Japanese and European ancestry.) Hsu's team selected GIP, one of the five genes, for further study because the GIP protein was known to be involved in stimulating insulin secretion in humans after a meal.”
If the scientists are able to figure out all the gene variations there is a possibility that new and improved diabetic medication can be made based on their findings.