ickle cell disease, have been identified, but it has proven difficult to identify genes which interact in more complex disorders. Since the decoding of the human genome, the task of identifying these multiple interacting genes has become much easier.
The researchers have described a four-stage process through which a disease caused by multiple genes can be identified; linkage and association, fine-mapping, sequence analysis, and functional tests of candidate genes. This process will ensure that there is robust proof of the identity of genes underlying complex diseases.
Dr Anne Glazier, from the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College London at the Hammersmith Hospital adds: "The criteria we have established will provide a means to evaluate the nature of the candidate genes identified to date, and demonstrate the insights that can be expected from the accelerating pace of gene discovery."
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Contact: Tony Stephenson
Imperial College London
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