Have you ever wondered how much your height is based on heredity? As in many human traits, adult stature is determined by both genes and environment. HudsonAlpha faculty investigator Dr. Devin Absher has contributed to a large, worldwide study of human height published in the September 29 edition of the scientific journal Nature.
Absher and his colleagues examined the genomes of almost 200,000 individuals from around the globe, looking for links to human height. They found 180 different places in the human genetic code that are significantly associated with variation in height. The proteins coded by the height-associated genes work together in pathways throughout the cell, explaining why differences in any one of these genes might influence a person’s stature. With this one large study, the scientists believe they have identified 10 percent of the total reason for variation in human height.
Work at HudsonAlpha is taking a similar approach to studying complex human diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and psychiatric disorders. Results like these on human height suggest that large, genome-wide association studies for complex conditions can yield genetic variants which point to important pathways and potential drug targets.
Read the abstract or download the PDF above.