By S. Holgate, et. al.

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For example, for asthma, heritability studies have shown there is genetic influence in many aspects, from susceptibility to atopy and regulation of total and specific IgE levels, to blood eosinophil levels, susceptibility to asthma per se, degree of bronchial hyperresponsiveness, severity of asthma symptoms, and even risk of mortality from asthma. Genetic factors also play a major role in determining asthma remission, with a family history of both atopy and asthma being associated with lower rates of remission.

Thus any disturbance of independent assortment, as defined by Mendel’s second law, provides an important clue that two genes are linked. If the chromosomal location of one of the genes is known, then the other can be mapped to the same region. If the genetic variant predisposing to the disease of interest and the genetic marker loci are on separate chromosomes, independent assortment will occur and the disease and markers should be found as often together as apart in the offspring. If the disease and marker loci lie close together on the same chromosome, independent assortment will not occur and the disease and marker will occur together in each child unless they are separated by crossover at meiosis.

Affected sib-pair analysis is the simplest form of allele-sharing analysis. Two sibs can show identical-by-descent (IBD) sharing for no, one, or two copies of any locus (with a 1 : 2 : 1 distribution expected under random segregation). Excess allele sharing can be measured with a simple χ2 test. Association studies do not examine inheritance patterns of alleles; rather, they are case-control studies based on a comparison of allele frequencies between groups of affected and unaffected individuals from a population.

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