Complex Traits - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

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How Genes Are Involved in Complex Disease

Because there are multiple factors involved in complex traits, such traits are difficult for scientists to study and even more difficult to understand. This is because the different factors may not all act equally or independently on the trait.

For example, if there are three genes involved in a trait, the simplest hypothesis is that each gene will contribute about one-third of the genetic effect on the trait. If the effect of the variations in the genes can be added together, then this is called an additive effect. However, that is not the only way multiple genes can have an effect. Rather than being added together, the effects of variations in the genes may have to be multiplied together. If this is the case, this is called a multiplicative effect. Both parts of figure 1 show examples of additive and multiplicative effects...

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This section contains 1,295 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Complex Traits Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
Complex Traits from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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