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A Commentary on ‘Common SNPs Explain a Large Proportion of the Heritability for Human Height’ by Yang et al. (2010)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2012

Peter M. Visscher*
Affiliation:
Queensland Statistical Genetics Laboratory, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia. Peter.visscher@qimr.edu.au
Jian Yang
Affiliation:
Queensland Statistical Genetics Laboratory, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia.
Michael E. Goddard
Affiliation:
Department of Food and Agricultural Systems, University of Melbourne, Australia; Biosciences Research Division, Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Melbourne Australia.
*
*Address for correspondence: Peter Visscher, Queensland Statistical Genetics Laboratory, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, 300 Herston Road, Brisbane, Queensland 4006, Australia.

Abstract

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Recently a paper authored by ourselves and a number of co-authors about the proportion of phenotypic variation in height that is explained by common SNPs was published in Nature Genetics (Yang et al., 2010). Common SNPs explain a large proportion of the heritability for human height (Yang et al.). During the refereeing process (the paper was rejected by two other journals before publication in Nature Genetics) and following the publication of Yang et al. (2010) it became clear to us that the methodology we applied, the interpretation of the results and the consequences of the findings on the genetic architecture of human height and that for other traits such as complex disease are not well understood or appreciated. Here we explain some of these issues in a style that is different from the primary publication, that is, in the form of a number of comments and questions and answers. We also report a number of additional results that show that the estimates of additive genetic variation are not driven by population structure.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010
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A Commentary on ‘Common SNPs Explain a Large Proportion of the Heritability for Human Height’ by Yang et al. (2010)
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