SCIENTISTS from Edinburgh have discovered 20 genes that could help explain the causes of kidney disease.
The study found that the genes help to control vital kidney functions, such as filtering waste substances from the blood, and could shed light on what goes wrong in patients with kidney failure.
The Edinburgh University scientists say that identifying the genes that control kidney function is an important step in developing new treatments for chronic kidney disease, which affects one in ten adults in the UK.
Dr Jim Wilson, a Royal Society Research Fellow at the university, said: "The discovery of these 20 new genes is another example of how large collaborative genome wide association meta-analyses can open up the black box of disease mechanism."
The research was carried out in collaboration with scientists at 80 institutions around the world.