Genetics research seeks answers to health questions

By Peter Kent

DNA MoleculeSouth Carolina is above the national average for birth disorders. To address this challenge, Clemson University and Greenwood Genetic Center have embarked on an initiative to find causes and cures for birth disorders and susceptibility to premature birth, hypertension, obesity and diabetes.

Effective action will depend on research to identify the genetic errors that cause these conditions. In January, bioinformatics researcher Liangjiang “LJ” Wang joined the research team. Bioinformatics uses computers to solve life science problems, such as determining genetic and protein sequences.

“A better understanding of nutrition and genetics can lead to ‘functional foods’ that address specific health needs. For example, phytochemicals in plants can enhance the function of genes that protect against hypertension, diabetes and cancer,” said John Kelly, Clemson vice president for public service and agriculture.

For information: Richard Hilderman, 864-656-3586,