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Friday, July 12, 2013

Genetic cause of 'spongy hands' discovered

4 July 2013 

Genetic cause of 'spongy hands' discovered

By Helen Briggs
BBC News

With water (left) and without

Scientists have mapped the gene behind a rare skin condition where hands turn white and spongy in water.

Studies of British and Swedish families with the condition revealed a genetic change in a key chemical that controls water loss from the body.

About one in 40,000 people have the disease, which causes thickened skin on the palms and soles.

Researchers in London say the discovery will aid understanding of how the skin moisturises itself.

The genetic study gives an insight into how the skin barrier functions, said David Kelsell, professor of human molecular genetics at Queen Mary, University of London, who led the team.

He said the research, published in The American Journal of Human Genetics, could also help investigations into other skin conditions. (...)

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