Next Generation Linkage Analysis
With the advent of affordable high-throughput genetic sequence, the human genetics community is returning to a focus on family data. Sequencing family members can facilitate data cleaning by identifying non-Mendelizing putative variants. It can provide a powerful mechanism for discerning the relevant sequence variants, by focusing on those segregating with the phenotype of interest. By the same token, sequencing holds out the possibility of capitalizing on earlier gene localization findings based on analyses of family data - findings that have provided numerous tantalizing loci for a wide range of complex phenotypes, but to date have resulted in relatively little definitive identifications of specific causal genes.
This special issue of 'Human Heredity' is intended to showcase some of the advances in the statistical and computational technologies now available for linkage analysis. As the field returns to an appreciation of the power of linkage analysis, the collection of papers will convey the flavor of what is now possible.
Human geneticists and scientists involved in gene mapping studies will gather information on new methods and computer programs available for linkage analysis to parallel sequencing experiments.