A Unified Theory of Complex Disease

An added quirk is that there likely are mechanisms that ensure that as few individuals as possible exceed the threshold, even when they have more than their fair share of the risky alleles. This phenomenon is known as canalization. It says that not only do species evolve so that most individuals resemble one another, but they have also evolved buffering that ensures that everyone is “normal” despite the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that life throws at them.

Next time you trap a mouse, count the number of whiskers: Almost certainly there will be 17 or 18 on each side of the snout. Actually, my dogs also have this number of whiskers, but that may just be coincidence. This number of whiskers is very ...

Get It Takes a Genome: How a Clash Between Our Genes and Modern Life Is Making Us Sick now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.