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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2013 Dec;23(6):658-64. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2013.10.001. Epub 2013 Nov 16.

Contemporary, yeast-based approaches to understanding human genetic variation.

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Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Foege Building, Box 355065, 3720 15th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98195-5065, USA. Electronic address:


Determining how genetic variation contributes to human health and disease is a critical challenge. As one of the most genetically tractable model organisms, yeast has played a central role in meeting this challenge. The advent of new technologies, including high-throughput DNA sequencing and synthesis, proteomics, and computational methods, has vastly increased the power of yeast-based approaches to determine the consequences of human genetic variation. Recent successes include systematic exploration of the effects of gene dosage, large-scale analysis of the effect of coding variation on gene function, and the use of humanized yeast to model disease. By virtue of its manipulability, small genome size, and genetic tractability, yeast is poised to help us understand human genetic variation.

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