This international study, published in the journal Nature, identified a number of 83 genetic variations that control the height of humans in a technique that now opens the way to research on indicators of some diseases.
“The idea was that if we could understand the genetics of human height, we could apply this knowledge to develop genetic tools to predict other traits or the risk of developing common diseases”, explained one of the coordinators of the study, Guillaume Lettre, University of Montreal, Canada.
Panos Deloukas, another of the co-ordinators of this study and a researcher, also a professor at Queen Mary University in London, UK, can now “begin to identify genetic variations that may influence the risk of developing common diseases such as Diabetes, cancer and schizophrenia”, he said.
This research involved more than 300 scientists from five continents and about 700,000 participants, thus revealing that some of the genetic variations discovered influence the height of adults at about more than two inches in height.
According to Guillaume Lettre, genes that are affected by these variations modulate the development of bones and cartilage and the production and activation of growth hormone, thus altering the height of humans.
To uncover all 83 genetic variations, the team of researchers had to measure the presence of 250,000 DNA variations (genetic information) in all 700,000 volunteers.
In this case of human height, scientists have found several genes that may be potential targets for treatments of growth problems in children and they have also concluded that the genetic variations that inactivate the STC2 gene increase the height of people who have them in their DNA, By acting on certain and certain growth factors.