genetics of normal variation

Genetic Future

Category archives for genetics of normal variation

Predicting faces from genes

An article on GenomeWeb Daily News discusses some tantalising but still unpublished data from a team at Penn State University led by Mark Shriver: The team has already found a handful of genes that seem to influence different facial features. “I think we’ve got compelling evidence for six genes that we tested,” Shriver said. The…

Welcome to the 42nd edition of Gene Genie, the blog carnival of clinical genetics and personalised medicine. Most of the entries in this edition fall under the broad umbrella of personalised genetics, with posts emphasising both the pros and cons of the emerging consumer genetic testing industry. The promise and perils of personalised genetics Hsien-Hsien…

Well, it’s a little late, but I finally have a list of what I see as some of the major trends that will play out in the human genomics field in 2009 – both in terms of research outcomes, and shifts in the rapidly-evolving consumer genomics industry. For genetics-savvy readers a lot of these predictions…

Following the dramatic appearance of the field of personal genomics just over a year ago the major players in the field have worked hard to distinguish themselves from their competition: 23andMe has emphasised the intellectual joy of learning about genetics, and also attempted to actively engage its customers in the company’s research projects; deCODEme has…

The importance of confusion

Steven Pinker’s recent article in the NY Times is a rich source of insight into the field of personal genomics and the experience of personal genomics customers – if you haven’t read it already, you really should. This paragraph, for instance, seems to perfectly encapsulate the experience of the average intellectually curious personal genomics customer:

Slender yield from fat gene studies

Willer et al. (2008). Six new loci associated with body mass index highlight a neuronal influence on body weight regulation Nature Genetics DOI: 10.1038/ng.287 Thorleifsson et al. (2008). Genome-wide association yields new sequence variants at seven loci that associate with measures of obesity Nature Genetics DOI: 10.1038/ng.274 There are two massive studies now online in…

I posted last week on a paper purporting to identify a genetic variant influencing the placebo response. The main message of my post was that given the terrible history of small candidate gene association studies, a paper describing an association with a sample size of just 25 individuals should be simply ignored – and certainly…

Nature Genetics has just released six advance online manuscripts on the genetic architecture of complex metabolic traits. The amount of data in the manuscripts is overwhelming, so this post is really just a first impression; I suspect I’ll have more to say once I’ve had time to dig into the juicy marrow of the supplementary…

I was planning to write a long article on this recent paper in PLoS Genetics, but p-ter at Gene Expression and G at Popgen ramblings have both covered the central message very well. So if you haven’t read those articles, already, go and do so now – when you come back, I want to talk…

New Scientist trumpets the discovery of “the first placebo gene“. The study in question is here. I usually don’t comment on this type of study, but this time the hype is just too much for me: New Scientist describes the study as “a milestone in the quest to understand” the placebo effect; an article in…