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It Takes a Genome: How a Clash Between Our Genes and Modern Life Is Making Us Sick by Greg Gibson

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Genetics of Asthma

On top of all this, asthma tends to run in families. Not as much as blonde hair and blue eyes, but certainly more than cancer or alcoholism. Inheritance is often a telltale sign of genetics, but the inheritance of asthma might have as much to do with families sharing musty homes as predisposing genes.

The only way to really see whether genes are involved is to find them and work out how they work. Scans for genes shared by affected family members have been performed often enough that half a dozen places in the genome keep coming up, and another dozen or so have appeared often enough to make us suspicious. The conclusion is that asthma, like diabetes, is a pretty good example of a disease influenced by a complex mixture of ...

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