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Midsummer Nights' Science: Genetics and Diabetes

Designing new drugs would be easier if scientists understood the biology of the diseases they are trying to treat -- but for most common diseases, which are caused by many different genes and environmental factors acting in concert, gaining that understanding has been a challenge. In recent years, however, by studying the genomes of hundreds of thousands of people, scientists have uncovered hundreds of genetic factors that influence disease risk, including some 70 genomic regions containing variants that either make people more prone to type 2 diabetes or protect them from it. Many of the findings are upending what scientists thought they knew about the disease.

In this third lecture of the 2014 Midsummer Nights’ Science series, Broad Institute founding core member David Altshuler discussed how these discoveries can be translated into biological insights and inspiration for new treatments.