Recently, new genomic technologies have enabled researchers to conduct genome-wide
association studies to search for genetic markers that may increase the risk of
developing common complex diseases. GWAS methods have become widely and quickly
adopted, as evidenced by a sharp spike in publications on the subject over the
past two years. In December 2007, the journal Science named human GWAS its “breakthrough of the year” (Pennisi,
2007). Hundreds of genetic markers have since been reported by researchers as
being associated with more than 80 diseases and traits (Hindorff et al., 2009)