Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A discovery with far-reaching implications

Listening to: 'Problem Girl' by Rob Thomas, from Something to Be

Scientists Solve Bone Disease Mystery - New York Times

You may have seen documentaries on a rare orthopaedic disorder called fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), where various body tissues calcify into bone, freezing joints overnight and turning children and adults immobile. It's so rare there's only 2500 cases estimated (it occurs about 1 in 2 million births) worldwide, with about 600 known cases. Scientists have now found the gene responsible, sparking hope that 1) a drug can be developed to supress the gene or its effects, 2) if it can be understood how the tissues turn to bone, then it might be applied to other diseases where there is bone loss, such as osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease) and osteoporosis, which have a wider range of occurrence.

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