In autoimmune diseases affecting millions, researchers pinpoint genetic risks, cellular culprits

Scores of autoimmune diseases afflicting one in 12 Americans -- ranging from type 1 diabetes, to multiple sclerosis (MS), to rheumatoid arthritis, to asthma -- mysteriously cause the immune system to harm tissues within our own bodies. Now, a new study pinpoints the complex genetic origins for many of these diseases, a discovery that may lead to better diagnosis and ultimately to improved treatments.