A research team has found a gene that plays a role in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a development that could point the way to new therapies for a medical condition that afflicts more than one million people in the United States. Long associated with Ashkenazi Jews, IBD is responsible for Crohn's disease and colitis. A variety of intestinal symptoms along with skin ulcers and eye conditions are linked to IBD. By comparing single nucleotide polymorphisms in Jewish and non-Jewish populations, they found that the protein receptor interleukin-23 was different in people with IBD. Scientists believe that a considerable amount of new research into IL-23 implicates the variation as a trigger for a variety of inflammations. A coding variant, though, can help protect people from inflammation, which could be the key to discovering a new therapeutic.
- here's The New York Times article