Epistasis Blog

From the Computational Genetics Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania (www.epistasis.org)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Decanalization and the origin of complex disease

Great new paper on canalization in Nature Reviews Genetics by Greg Gibson. If you are interested in epistasis you must read this.

Gibson G. Decanalization and the origin of complex disease. Nat Rev Genet. 2009 Feb;10(2):134-40. [PubMed]

Abstract

Complex genetic disease is caused by the interaction between genetic and environmental variables and is the predominant cause of mortality globally. Recognition that susceptibility arises through the combination of multiple genetic pathways that influence liability factors in a nonlinear manner suggests that a process of 'decanalization' contributes to the epidemic nature of common genetic diseases. The rapid evolution of the human genome combined with marked environmental and cultural perturbation in the past two generations might lead to the uncovering of cryptic genetic variation that is a major source of disease susceptibility.

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