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Take Two … and Lose a Liver

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew that Tylenol – or some other drug – was bad for your health before you took it?

To study ways of predicting drug toxicity to humans, Dr. David Threadgill examined mouse genes. Image courtesy of Richard M. Dunstan, personalfx.ca.

To study ways of predicting drug toxicity to humans, Dr. David Threadgill, professor and head of genetics, examined mouse genes.

Threadgill and colleagues published a paper in Genome Research that found a genetic marker linked to the risk of acetaminophen-induced liver injury in mice. They then examined the mouse gene’s counterparts in humans, and found a specific human gene associated with possible liver injury.

Although the gene’s role in liver toxicity in humans is not yet known, Threadgill’s method of using corollaries of animal model genes represents a new way of predicting the side effects drugs will have on humans.

And that may help people take two and not call a doctor in the morning.

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  1. That’s great news, more and more drugs are created each day and there is always a worry that there might be some sort of hidden side effect.