Population Genetics: Why structure matters | eLife

October 8, 2019


This, however, requires accurate and unbiased estimation of the effects of all SNPs included in the score, which is difficult in a structured (non-homogeneous) population when environmental differences cannot be controlled. To see why this is a problem, consider the classic example of chopstick-eating skills (Lander and Schork, 1994). While there surely are genetic variants affecting our ability to handle chopsticks, most of the variation for this trait across the globe is due to environmental differences (cultural background), and a GWAS would mostly identify variants that had nothing to do with chopstick skills, but simply happened to differ in frequency between East Asia and the rest of the world.