Type 1 Diabetes

Somewhere in the vicinity of 1 in every 300 children will contract the fat-free form of diabetes, T1D. We currently have no way of identifying those at risk in advance and are powerless to stop the progression. On the other hand, we can be fairly confident about who will not be type 1 diabetics. The reason is that almost everyone who has the disease has one of a handful of genetic markers at one particular place in the genome. The Human Genome Project is telling us that they are likely to have a few other risk factors as well.

Even a cursory look at the distribution of T1D in families makes it clear that there is a sizeable genetic component to the disease. If one identical twin has it, then just over half the time the other ...

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