What is a “GWAS”?

Well, that stands for: Genome Wide Association Study. Let’s pull that apart:

Genome Wide: Looks at genetic variation across the whole wide genome :) .

Association: Looks at the association of the genetic variation to disease

Study: Something you should be doing at the library for a test. Or in these case it’s a research study of a lot of different people to find the aforementioned ‘associations’ of their genetic variations to the diseases they have to find possible connections between genes and disease.

They have been the ‘big thing’ (both in that they are huge amounts of ‘study’ and there have been a lot of them lately) for a while. These types of studies have a lot of promise, but it’s turning out to be a just a bit more difficult to find associations than was expected.¬†(doesn’t it always? like the time you planned to redesign your kitchen in 3 months for 5 thousand dollars?).

Find more here at the NHGRI site (I could do another FAQ on what NHGRI stands for, or you could just click the link and save me a lot of time). Oh, and if you want to find a list of GWAS studies performed to date, knock yourself out.


Posted in: Personal Genomics