This critique of genome-wide association studies by Jon McClellan and Mary-Claire King in Cell is the latest salvo in a prolonged backlash against genome-wide association studies (GWAS).
I hope to have more on the McClellan and King paper shortly, but in the meantime I will point you to a positive take on the paper
by Stephen Turner (read the comments section), and an excellent response to one of M&K’s more bizarre criticisms
by p-ter at Gene Expression. The claim in question is that the tendency of GWAS to find disease associations outside of protein-coding genes is somehow a problem; but, as p-ter notes, there’s perfectly plausible reasons for disease risk variants to be found in non-coding regions.
Indeed, I think most of us working in genomics have seen the proliferation of non-coding hits in GWAS studies as a positive, in that it seems to be teaching us something new and unexpected about the underlying biology of human variation.
Anyway, there’s plenty more to be said about the M&K paper – and hopefully I’ll have a guest post up in the next day or so inflicting some well-deserved shredding.