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June 2002
Naomi B. Zak, PhD, Sagiv Shifman, MSc, Anne Shalom, PhD and Ariel Darvasi, PhD, MPH

The complex genetic nature of many common diseases makes the identification of the genes that predispose to these ailments a difficult task. In this review we discuss the elements that contribute to the complexity of polygenic diseases and describe an experimental strategy for disease-related gene discovery that attempts to overcome these factors. This strategy involves a population-based case-control paradigm and makes use of a highly informative, homogeneous founder population, many of whose members presently reside in Israel. The properties of single nucleotide polymorphisms, which are presently the markers of choice, are discussed, and the technologies that are currently available for SNP[1] genotyping are briefly presented.

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[1] SNP = single nucleotide polymorphism

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