Monday, October 6, 2014

New Study Sheds Light On DNA's Role In Height

The study was conducted by scientists from 300 institutions including professors from the University of Exter Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital and the studied the DNA and genes of 250,000 individuals in Europe. While this study was extensive it has only scratched the surface of the genetic aspect of height. Similar studies have suggested that 80% of height lies in our genes. A professor in the study said that many genes the identified in the study were likely important regulators in skeletal growth.

The first height gene was identified in 2007 but this study now points to possibly thousands of genes and other DNA parts that could all contribute to an individual’s height. Researchers in this study found 400 regions in peoples DNA that could cause a person’s height and a possible 700 variants among those regions. So, clearly the genetic determination of height is an incredibly complex process

It has long been understood that our height is determined by our parents’ height. Short people have shorter children and tall people have taller children. This being said, many individuals who might worry about their height or their children’s height may have simply inherited “short genes” but there is no doubt that this new study has shed light on previously unexplained or misunderstood syndromes relating to abnormal growth.

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