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The World in Medicine
February 12, 2003

Plague Rapid Diagnostic Test

JAMA. 2003;289(6):691. doi:10.1001/jama.289.6.691-a

Chinese researchers have identified for the first time a genetic mutation that results in the rapid, irregular heartbeat that characterizes atrial fibrillation (AF) (Science. 2003;299:251-254).

Scientists from Tongji University and the Chinese National Human Genome Center, both in Shanghai, studied 44 members of a four-generation family in China that had a history of AF. They found that all 16 family members with AF (but not unaffected family members) had a specific mutation in the KCNQ1 gene. This gene encodes a protein component of an ion channel that controls the movement of potassium ions in and out of cells.

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