Hundreds of common genetic variants (SNPs) across the human genome influence adult height, according to a study of over 180,000 individuals published late last month in the journal Nature. The study itself identifies over a hundred new variants and shows that they are not randomly-distributed, but are clustered around genes which have been previously linked to growth.
“We have found clues to how genes related to growth are being regulated by nearby genetic variants as well as identifying new candidates that may play a role in growth,” notes Dr. Mike Weedon from the Peninsula Medical School. “Given the number of loci we have found that contain genes known to be involved in growth, we can assume that those loci not found near known height-related genes could provide potential clues to important and novel biological processes.”
The study involved almost three hundred researchers from over a hundred institutions across the globe – part of the appropriately-named GIANT Consortium (Genome-wide Investigation of ANthropometric Traits Consortium) including teams from the UK, USA, Iceland and the Netherlands.
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