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Thread: What genetics determine size of body?

  1. #1 What genetics determine size of body? 
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    United Kingdom
    What part of the chromosone decides how the body grows? I am really confused as to how if there is a 99.8% genetic similarity between two persons that they can have vast genetic diversity. What determines if one is short or tall? Wider or thinner boned? How come it can be so diverse and how could genetic engineering change this?

    I am asking for a scientific fact here on genetics and then for that fact to be extrapolated into a theory as to how one would manipulate height in the genome for instance. Can you 'target' height?

    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  3. #2  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Height is polygenic and ~80% of variation in height is due to genetic factors. Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) throughout the genome that appear to correlate with height phenotype in a statistically signifcant way. HMGA2, GDF5-UQCC, ZBTB38, HHIP have been associated with height across three independent studies. Biological pathways or processes in which the GWAS-identified genes feature include: meosderm development, skeletal development, mitosis, cancer, Hedgehog signalling and chromatin remodelling.

    This is all explained in Peter M Visscher (2008) Sizing up human height variation. Nature Genetics 40: 489-490

    Let me know if you are unable to access the full text and I will send a PDF to you.

    Best wishes,


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