Finding a gene commonly associated with age-related conditions or damaging processes - like the inflammatory response - is a very good thing. With a gene in hand, researchers can make good progress towards an understanding of the biochemical processes involved, and thus craft a direct, targeted therapy. ScienceDaily has this to say: "The gene variant was first identified in an animal model ... The researchers discovered that people with the variant ran a 20-40 per cent greater risk of developing rheumatism, MS or a myocardial infarction. The gene variant is also common: an estimated 20-25 per cent of the population carry it. ... This gene variant can therefore be one of the single largest genetic causes of complex diseases with inflammatory components."