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Genome Biol. 2016 Nov 17;17(1):233.

The continuum of causality in human genetic disorders.

Author information

1
Center for Human Disease Modeling, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, 27701, USA. Nicholas.katsanis@duke.edu.

Abstract

Studies of human genetic disorders have traditionally followed a reductionist paradigm. Traits are defined as Mendelian or complex based on family pedigree and population data, whereas alleles are deemed rare, common, benign, or deleterious based on their population frequencies. The availability of exome and genome data, as well as gene and allele discovery for various conditions, is beginning to challenge classic definitions of genetic causality. Here, I discuss recent advances in our understanding of the overlap between rare and complex diseases and the context-dependent effect of both rare and common alleles that underscores the need for revising the traditional categorizations of genetic traits.

PMID:
27855690
PMCID:
PMC5114767
DOI:
10.1186/s13059-016-1107-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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