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As humans have evolved, those who possess beneficial traits (e.g., are stronger or more intelligent) have been more likely to reproduce, and therefore their genes are more likely to be passed to future generations. This phenomenon is referred to as natural selection. One way to measure the impact of selection is via the parameter alpha; lower alpha implies more selection. The above figure reports estimates of alpha for 14 complex traits, obtained using Doug's new tool. We see strongest evidence for selection for height (often considered a proxy for strength) and college education (a proxy for intelligence).

2020.03.25 | Research news

Evaluating and Improving Heritability Models using Summary Statistics

BiRC member Doug Speed, in collaboration with David Balding and John Holmes (University of Melbourne), has recently developed a new tool that improves our understanding of the genetic factors underlying complex traits. Details of the tool have been published this week in the journal Nature Genetics.