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The Alzheimer Conundrum by Margaret Lock

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Chapter 6

Genome-Wide Association Studies: Back to the Future

Each cell expresses hundreds or thousands of genes, and most genes are expressed in many different types of cells or in varying cellular contexts. Complex traits are spatio-temporal collectives of multiple interacting gene products, changing over time (from conception onward) in any target organ or tissue, and sculpted by increasingly well-documented phenomena including largely unknown environmental influences.

—Anne Buchanan, Samuel Sholtis, Joan Richtsmeier, and Kenneth Weiss, “What Are Genes ‘for’ or Where Are Traits ‘From’?”1

Polymorphisms—variations at a single DNA site or locus—are common in nature, and much more frequent in the human genome than had been anticipated prior to ...

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