Thursday, September 20, 2007

association studies of classic traits

It would be a lot of fun (although also an IRB nightmare) to involve a bunch of schools in an association study. In school we learn about tongue rolling and attached ear-lobes being classic Mendelian traits, but I don't think we (or I anyway) know the genes underlying these traits. It would be great to take classes of kids from around the country and get their teachers to phenotype them (i.e. can you roll your tongue, are your earlobes attached), and then genotype them on SNP arrays. The investigator could then determine the locus underlying these traits presumably fairly easily given how simple the traits are. The whole thing could be a big science project for a load of schools and really get kids and parent excited about science and mapping.

I guess the only problem with this idea (apart from the ethical committees and the like) is that it would give kids and parents the wrong idea about how simple and deterministic genetic variation is.


Well here I go off into the world of blogging. I'm interested in evolution and in particular population genetics. This blog will be a collection of ideas and discussion on recent papers on evolution, population genetics and association mapping (and whatever else takes my fancy).