A research team from the University of Michigan and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology say they have discovered a previously unrecognized gene variation that makes humans have healthier blood lipid levels and reduced risk of heart attacks. They believe their finding can open the door to using this knowledge in testing or treatment of high cholesterol and other lipid disorders.
But, the scientists add, even more significant is how they found the gene, which had been hiding in plain sight in previous hunts for genes that influence cardiovascular risk.
This region of DNA where it was found had been implicated as being important in controlling blood lipid levels in a report from several members of the same research team in 2008. But although this DNA region had many genes, none of them had any obvious link to blood lipid levels.