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  • Writer's pictureTimothée Beaulieu

French-Canadian Super Gene Is The Holy Grail

We’ve known for quite a long time the children of New France were something special. Farming in a country with six months of winter is no easy task…but super genes? Even we are blown away by this one.

McMaster University, the Montreal Clinical Research Institute, and the University of Montreal recently released some findings that indicate they have found a potential “fountain of youth.” Woah. Is the Holy Grail embedded in French Settler DNA?

Well, not really. It turns out researchers have found a rare genetic mutation in a handful of families. Initially, it was thought to only help against cardiovascular disease, but it appears to go much further than that. It looks like the gene can help protect against many human illnesses, mostly in the liver.

Side note on the cardiovascular benefits. Could this be why so many French Canadians make the joke about poutine causing heart attacks…even though they don’t appear to be having them?

So this gene is apparently a thing? How is it a fountain of youth? Vascular Biologist Richard Austin from McMaster University has the answer:

"Now we want to see whether we can come up with a gene therapy approach to overexpress this specific mutant gene variant in the liver, and thereby offer an innovative treatment for a number of diseases that normally lead to early death."

So let’s get this straight, the land that gave us poutine, could also literally extend the lives of millions? That’s a pretty big deal! It would be kind of funny to see what the side effects of the gene therapy might be. “May cause dry mouth, sleeplessness, use of the French language, dry eye…”

All kidding aside this could he a huge leap forward in science and it all come from our little world.

For more information check out the full press release here in Science Daily:

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