Immune gene evolution may be driven by parasites (The Dana Foundation Website – 22 July 2009)
Soon after I brought my newborn son home from the hospital, my grandmother admonished me not to bathe him too often. If babies are too clean, they are more likely to get sick, she said. Now researchers are finding there may be something to that folk wisdom. A population genetics study published in the June 8 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine suggests that parasites have helped shape the human immune system—and that a lack of exposure to helminthes, or worms, may account for rising rates of autoimmune disorders such as irritable bowel disease (IBD), Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease…
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