Thursday, June 11, 2015

One Hundred Years of Statistical Developments in Animal Breeding

This nice review gives a history of the last 100 years in statistical genetics as applied to animal breeding (via Andrew Gelman).
One Hundred Years of Statistical Developments in Animal Breeding
(Annu. Rev. Anim. Biosci. 2015. 3:19–56 DOI:10.1146/annurev-animal-022114-110733)

Statistical methodology has played a key role in scientific animal breeding. Approximately one hundred years of statistical developments in animal breeding are reviewed. Some of the scientific foundations of the field are discussed, and many milestones are examined from historical and critical perspectives. The review concludes with a discussion of some future challenges and opportunities arising from the massive amount of data generated by livestock, plant, and human genome projects.
I've gone on and on about approximately additive genetic architecture for many human traits. These arguments are supported by the success of linear predictive models in animal breeding. But who has time to read literature outside of human genetics? Who has time to actually update priors in the face of strong evidence? ;-)

1 comment:

DK said...

Perhaps you should re-read Gelman. He is actually saying that the fact that you can describe something as linear does not necessarily means that it *is* linear. What you like to approximate as a 10,000 little additive things can in fact be be 100 non-additive things having relationships of the form that we have absolutely no idea about.

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