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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2004 Jun;14(3):233-40.

Localization and identification of human quantitative trait loci: king harvest has surely come.

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Department of Genetics, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, 7620 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, Texas 78227-5301, USA.


The scientific process of localization and subsequent identification of genes influencing risk of common diseases is still in its infancy. Initial localization of disease-related loci has traditionally been performed using family-based linkage methods to scan the genome. Early pronouncements of the failure of this approach for common diseases were premature and based on comparing suboptimal linkage designs with overly optimistic and empirically unproven association-based designs. On the contrary, substantial recent progress in the positional cloning of genes influencing such complex phenotypes suggests that modern approaches based around a family-based linkage paradigm will be successful. In particular, the rapidly growing emphasis on the analysis of the genetic basis of quantitative correlates of disease risk represents a novel and promising approach in which initial localization is performed using linkage and subsequent identification utilizes association approaches in positional candidate genes.

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