It was a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup moment in genetic evolution: The end of one gene fused to the beginning of another and, voilà, a new, composite gene was born. In most people the two-component gene does not work. But in a small percentage the gene functions and puts its possessors at increased risk for lupus and potentially other autoimmune diseases, in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, says a team of researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
If the Birmingham researchers are right, the gene could be a clue to improving therapy for autoimmune diseases. At least one prominent researcher has roundly criticized the putative lupus link, however.
Read the full, original story: New Genetic Clue to Lupus Is Found