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Learning Just How Different We Are

A very subtle change in the genetic constitution is what makes each one of us unique. If mystery// associated with it is unraveled, then health care can be individualized according to personal needs.

Although we all share the same genetic code, how those genes express themselves at individual levels presents a challenge for scientists in developing medicines and dietary advice. According to a recent study, researchers say by understanding how genes vary between individuals could help determine how to adjust the nutritional content of foods to suit individual diets.

Scientists at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) have completed what they say is one of the first studies to define how unique we are on the genetic level. The initial study on 18 individuals found that the way our genes function varies significantly, particularly in some key areas including the immune system.Of the 14,000 genes analysed, 3,302 were identified as varying significantly in their expression among human volunteers. Researchers attribute some of the changes to age, gender and body mass index. However researchers say they found considerable variation in the expression of genes covering a wide range of biological functions, such as those regulating antibody production.

While the main findings are important for determining how individuals may respond to different medicines, it could also be used for determining nutritional needs. The fact that day-to-day variation within individuals was so low suggests that detecting even small changes through adjustments to diet or nutrition should be feasible, the team stated.

In conclusion researchers say the findings from their study shows that the impact of diet can be more accurately measured and early signs of disease can be more easily predicted.

Medindia on Genetics: Out of 23 chromosomes, the fourth chromosome is responsible for sense of sweet taste and Identical twin s have identical DNA but not identical fingerprints.

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