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C. Scientists Zero In on a Gene Linked to Early Heart Attack Risk

Narrator: This is Science Today. A series of genes, which could indicate a higher risk of heart attack, has been discovered by a collaborative team of scientists, including those at the University of California , San Francisco . Dr. John Kane, a professor of medicine and director of UCSF's Cardiovascular Research Institute, says one of the genes, called VAMP 8, expresses a protein essential to early stages of blood clotting a process that can lead to heart attacks.

Kane: The VAMP 8 gene looks very much like a target of interest immediately because it's involved in blood platelets whose task it is to recognize the need for formation of a blood clot and to initiate that clot.

Narrator : Kane explains that this process is one of the main causes behind heart attacks.

Kane: Blood clotting is important, of course, because almost all examples of heart attack result from the formation of a blood clot that occludes one of the coronary vessels that leaves part of the heart deprived of blood supply.

Narrator: The University of California team collaborated with The Cleveland Clinic and Celera Genomics. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin .