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Omnigenics Says All Genes Involved in Complex Traits

07:05 EDT 21 Jun 2017 | Genetic Engineering News

The one gene-one trait idea was succeeded long ago by the polygenic model, the idea that many traits, such as height, are complex and controlled by many genes. Now, as bewildering findings accumulate from genome-wide association studies, the polygenic model is starting to show the strain. For complex traits, scientists at Stanford University have noticed, association signals tend to be spread across most of the genome. For example, signals associated with the propensity for a particular disease may be found near many genes that lack any obvious connection to disease. These Stanford scientists, led by Jonathan Pritchard, Ph.D., have even come around to the idea that the gene activity of cells is so broadly networked that virtually any gene can influence disease. The implication is that most of the heritability of diseases is due not to a handful of core genes, but to tiny contributions from vast ...

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