NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Groundbreaking research could provide some relief for people with peanut allergies.

Scientists have identified the six genes that trigger an allergic reaction.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Hasekll reported, that’s like finding a genomic needle in a haystack.

“When you sequence someone’s genes and what’s expressed, you get over 20,000 different genes that you can look at. Here, we’ve narrowed it down to six,” said Dr. Supinda Bunyavanich, a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“They’re high-yield targets for understanding how peanut allergy works overall,” she added. “If you can stop the expression of those genes, you could potentially tone down or potentially even stop the peanut allergic reaction.”

It’s unclear whether the research will help with other food allergies.

“I think that’s a big step in terms of trying to focus where our research goes,” Bunyavanich said.

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