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Nat Genet. 1997 Dec;17(4):387-92.

A twin-pronged attack on complex traits.

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  • 1Queensland Institute of Medical Research, PO Royal Brisbane Hospital, Australia.


Before one starts the hunt for quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for a complex trait, it is necessary to show that the trait is genetically influenced. This evidence is most likely to come from the classical twin study--the demonstration that monozygotic twins are more similar for the trait than dizygotic twins. The strengths and weaknesses of twin studies are discussed, and it is suggested that, far from becoming irrelevant with advances in molecular biology, they can improve the efficiency of QTL detection and play an important role in unravelling developmental genetic mechanisms.

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