EU project finds gene causing childhood asthma
An EU-funded project has identified a previously unknown gene that increases the risk of children developing asthma.
Until now, scientists had only been able to come up with treatments for the symptoms of the condition. But new developments in genomics and bioinformatics have allowed the team to compare genetic markers in asthmatic and non-asthmatic children. The discovery of the gene ORMDL3 could lead to improved prevention and diagnosis of asthma, and possibly a new therapy.
The GABRIEL project is funded under the 'Lifesciences, genomics and biotechnology for health' section of the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). It involves over 150 scientists from 14 European countries.
'Asthma is the major chronic childhood illness in Europe, costing the European Community more than €3 billion each year...