The Onslaught of Genomic Associations

Missed this last week: a nice report from NPR's Science Friday on genome-wide association studies with some bigshots including Lawrence Brody from the National Human Genome Research Institute. Picking up on the recent reported associations for breast cancer, restless leg syndrome, and so on, they try to explain what to make of these associations. The second half of the program gets into the first genome-assocation study of infectious disease. Researchers from the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology found that certain genetic variants can affect vulnerability to HIV infection (some people who are infected with HIV are asymptomatic, in that their immune system appears to control the virus). In other words, depending on your genes, you can be more vulnerable to certain infectious diseases.