Sydney: Scientists have closed in on 68 regions of the genome, tied to blood platelet formation, potentially opening the way to better diagnosis of bleeding disorders.
Platelets are vital for healing wounds and clotting. An abnormally high count increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke; too few platelets can up the risk of haemorrhage, reports the journal Nature.
"We studied the genes of over 68,000 people from different backgrounds, making this the largest study of its kind," said Manuel Ferreira, study co-author from Queensland Institute`s Genetic Epidemiology Lab.
"What is really exciting about this research is that we have used genetic techniques to find these regions of DNA," added Ferreira, according to an institute statement.
"By turning off some of these genes, we found that blood cell formation was significantly impaired.
"These genes could be used in the future as new targets to develop diagnostics or treatments for bleeding disorders in extreme cases," concluded Ferreira.