Saturday, November 26, 2011

Short genes?

In recent studies conducted by researchers at the University Children's Hospital of Boston, 12,000 children were surveyed and the test concluded that there is a correlation between a person's height and the number of deletions on certain chromosomes in the human genome. Up until today's genetic research, geneticists are only aware of approximately ten percent of the genetic makeup responsible for determining a person's height later in development. Recently, researchers have spent more and more time trying to find a link between a person's height and their genetic makeup. After careful research such as the studies completed at the University Children's Hospital of Boston, genetic abnormalities, coined copy number variants, are responsible for too little or too much DNA on certain chromosomes in the body. In shorter people, it was found that there was too little or even missing copies of height-determining DNA that could definitely contribute to the patient's height. For example, in his article Collins states, "While everyone has at least some of these deletions in their genome, covering thousands of individual components of DNA, others have several million."

Although this is a remarkable and reasonable accusation between a person's lack of DNA and thus shorter stature, the conductor of the research at the University Children's Hospital of Boston, Dr. Joel Hirschhorn, stated, "it showed a small but firm link between the amount of genetic material missing and a decrease in height." Therefore, no definite link has been established, but it is definitely an interesting step in the direction towards explaining a person's height.

1 comment:

  1. if the deletions or missing portions of the DNA were found in areas that coded for the amount of growth hormones released or the age that the hormone was beginning to be produced it would most definitely effect height. Probably less likely but the area the ancenstors lived in may a large role in how tall a person would grow.