SNU Team Finds Genetic Factors for Height

      March 20, 2013 12:24

      A team of Korean researchers claims to have found genetic factors that are partly responsible for a person's height.

      In all, 80 percent of a person's height is believed to be due to genetic factors and the remaining 20 percent to environmental factors, but until the study by Prof. Kim Hee-bal at Seoul National University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, only a small percentage of these genetic factors were known.

      Kim and his team analyzed genetic variation in 8,842 people in the Ansan and Anseong areas in Gyeonggi Province and succeeded in attributing about 32 percent of Koreans' height to genetic factors, Kim said Tuesday.

      "Academics have been so far able to attribute only 5 to 10 percent to genetic factors," Kim said. "The rest has been a mystery." But Kim's team believe they have found the factors responsible for another 22 to 27 percent."

      "This was the first time a genetic map of Asians has been created. The latest research will contribute to preventing certain diseases prevalent among Koreans," Kim added.

      Kim's team worked with the Korea National Institute of Health and Dr. Jian Yang, a research fellow from the University of Queensland in Australia. The findings were published in the March edition of the journal PLoS Genetics.

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