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Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 Aug;8(8):631-43. doi: 10.1038/nri2361.

Genome-wide association studies: a new window into immune-mediated diseases.

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  • 1Center for Computational and Integrative Biology and Gastrointestinal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 185 Cambridge Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.


Given the recent explosion of genetic discoveries, 2007 is becoming known to human geneticists as the year of genome-wide association studies. In fact, more genetic risk factors for common diseases were identified in this one year than had been collectively reported before 2007. In particular, 2007 witnessed the discovery of many genes that influence susceptibility to individual immune-mediated diseases, as well as other genes that are associated with susceptibility to more than one disease. Although much work remains to be done, in this Review we discuss what effect these studies are having on our understanding of disease pathogenesis and their potential impact on future immunology studies.

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