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Scientists have reported a major breakthrough which could significantly help in the development of drugs and other allergies.

The study, led by scientists at Imperial College London for the last ten years, adopted new ways to analyse genes in the immune system and in doing so, have discovered thirty four genes that predispose people to allergies.

It is now thought that these genes will become targets for new drugs.

Scientists located a number of genes that regulate an antibody called mmunoglobin E, which is involved in triggering allergic responses.

Professor William Cookson, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, said: “Our pioneering approach allowed us to obtain insights that we weren’t able to get from traditional genetics.

“It isn’t just the genetic code that can influence disease and DNA sequencing can only take you so far.
“Our study shows that modifications on top of the DNA that control how genes are read may be even more important.”

Dr Samantha Walker, director of research at Asthma UK, said: “We welcome this research which explores the genetic relationship between allergies and asthma which could bring us one step closer to developing ground-breaking asthma treatments and finding a cure.”

The research has been published in the journal Nature.