What If (almost) Every Gene Affects (almost) Everything?
June 16, 2017
(The Atlantic) – The Stanford trio call this the “omnigenic model.” In the simplest terms, they’re saying that most genes matter for most things. More specifically, it means that all the genes that are switched on in a particular type of cell—say, a neuron or a heart muscle cell—are probably involved in almost every complex trait that involves those cells. So, for example, nearly every gene that’s switched on in neurons would play some role in defining a person’s intelligence, or risk of dementia, or propensity to learn. Some of these roles may be starring parts. Others might be mere cameos. But few genes would be left out of the production altogether.