José María Mato is a scientist at the new CIC-Biogune research centre in Zamudio (Bizkaia). For more than twenty years now he has been studying the liver disease known as steatohepatitis. This is a serious illness which develops when large amounts of fat are accumulate din the liver, and mat result in cirrhosis or, in the worst scenario, in cancerous tumours.
The greatest problem with this illness to date is that it cannot be diagnosed until the symptoms have already appeared and then it is normally too late, the disease being irreversible. José María Mato’s aim is to find a method which enables diagnosis in the initial phases of the illness, i.e. he is trying to find out which genes and proteins vary in this initial phases of the infirmity.
Mato had already identified a gene involved in the ailment but this did not prove to be enough. Now the proteins are his main target. The fact is that, although it is the genes that hold the relevant information, this data is later expressed in the proteins and it is these which really work inside the cells.
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