The answer to that question lies to some extent in our diet and environment, but mostly in our DNA (80%). Combining genome-wide association methods and an unmatched dataset of more than 700,000 participants, a recent study narrowed down the set of candidate changes to 83 variants, some of which altering the size by more than 2 cm. Over 300 scientists from across the globe, including researchers from the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics - among whom group leaders Zoltán Kutalik, co-Principal Investigator of the paper, and Sven Bergmann - have combined their effort to study what makes us shorter or taller. In the context of precision medicine, the results also bring hope to understand the genetic basis of complex diseases such as diabetes or schizophrenia. The study has been published on 1 February in the journal Nature.

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