Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Genetics of Human Height

Many people assume that height is brought down through genetics, although, that is not always true. Studies show that "about 60 to 80 percent of the difference in height between individuals is determined by genetic factors, whereas 20 to 40 percent can be attributed to environmental effects, mainly nutrition"(Lai 2006). Therefore, one main factor that goes into a person's ability to grow to max potential is the nutrition that is fed to the person to fuel the body. As Jef Akst, from The Scientist, states, "Hundreds of genetics variants have been linked to height, but none appear to have very strong effects"(Akst 2017).Over the years, researchers have been dedicated to finding a way to find all variants of height. One research project conducted in 2017 involved 700,000 volunteers, and discovered 83 new variants and 24 of those variants affected height by more than one centimeter(Akst 2017).

According to the press release, "The discovery of these variants means that researchers can now explain 27.4 percent of the heritability of human height"(Akst 2017). Going forward, and analyzing more genomes Joel Hirschhorn, a geneticist at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Broad Institute hopes to discover more variants. Hirschhorn spoke to The Verge, stating, "We have another study we just launched where we’re hoping to get up to 2 million people’s worth of data"(Akst 2017). Overall, there will probably never be an explanation to explain all of the genetic factors, but Hirschhorn thinks its important to use genetics to be able to understand biology to it's fullest extent.

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