Lifestyle Why some people are taller than others

Why some people are taller than others

An international research collaboration has discovered 83 new genetic variations that control human height.

The study, the largest ever in this field, involved more than 300 researchers and 700,000 participants across five continents.

Three researchers from The University of Western Australia contributed to the study by analysing data collected from 1,494 people in Western Australia.

UWA Associate Professor Craig Pennell from School of Women’s and Infants’ Health said that although it was well known that parents often have children of similar height (suggesting genetics is a large factor in determining an individual’s height) it had been difficult to know which genes were responsible.

“The most exciting part of this study is identifying three new genes associated with height, and 34 new regions in genes previously associated with height,” he said.

The new genetic variants found in the study are rare but affect the height of a person ten times more than variants previously associated with height. Some can influence adult height by more than two centimetres.

“It’s important we study height because height is a human trait which is 80 percent heritable,’ said Professor Pennell.

“Understanding what components are responsible for how humans grow will have a tremendous impact in helping us understand disease, work to develop treatments and cures and to work out which people may be at risk of developing particular diseases.”

Read more about this intriguing study here. Story credit: University of Western Australia newsroom.

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