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Approved Research

Heritability of social phenotypes in the UK Biobank

Principal Investigator: Dr Sohini Ramachandran
Approved Research ID: 81077
Approval date: April 20th 2022

Lay summary

Modern genetic analyses hope to find relationships between deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and an individual's risk for particular diseases. The analyses have uncovered a vast number of medically relevant regions in our genetic material (i.e. DNA) that can help to inform medical treatment, prevention plans, and diagnostic outlooks. While they have provided an invaluable amount of information to the medical community, there is also growing consideration of the age old question that posits "nature" vs. "nurture". In reality, an individual's health is often the product of both nature and nurture - but genetic studies can often omit to consider the role of nature or environment on an individual's health risks and instead mistake them as part of nature or genetically determined. In this study, we will explore the relationship between nature and nurture to determine if there are particular health risks that are environmental, but are being mistaken as being genetic. This will help to better inform new medical solutions by ensuring that treatments that assume nature to be the cause are not misinformed or overlooking environmental elements of an individual's history.