The modern world of Big Data increasingly requires knowledge of statistics and biologists are scrambling to master that along with all of the expertise needed to solve mysteries of nature.
A new statistical framework could help, according to a new paper, because it can substantially increase the power of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to detect genetic influences on human disease.
Despite the proliferation of
genome-wide association studies
, the associations found so far have largely failed to account for the known effects of genes on complex disease — the problem of "missing heritability." Standard approaches also struggle to find combinations of multiple genes that affect disease risk in complex ways, known as genetic interactions.