In Finland, children's risk of developing type 1 diabetes is the highest in the world. In addition to the genetic susceptibility, environmental factors have a great significance for developing the disease. The environmental factors include, for example, excessive level of hygiene, biodiversity loss, and environmental toxins.
The newly published studies are based on long-term interdisciplinary research collaboration with international partners. The project has included doctors who are in charge of the patients and also conduct clinical research, researchers in molecular medicine and immunology, and experts in computational science. In the studies, researchers analysed longitudinal samples with deep sequencing covering the entire genome as well as with computational methods and artificial intelligence.
Reference: Starskaia I, Laajala E, Grönroos T, et al. Early DNA methylation changes in children developing beta cell autoimmunity at a young age. Diabetologia. 2022;10.1007/s00125-022-05657-x. doi: 10.1007/s00125-022-05657-x.
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