Omar S Al-Attas*, Nasser M Al-Daghri, Majed S Alokail, Khalid M Alkharfy, Assim A Alfadda, Philip McTernan, Greg C Gibson, Shaun B Sabico and George P Chrousos
Corresponding author: Omar S Al-Attas email@example.com
BMC Medical Genetics 2012, 13:38 doi:10.1186/1471-2350-13-38
Dan T.A. Eisenberg
(2013-02-19 17:18) University of Washington
In a scientific literature which is dominated by studies of peoples of western European
descent (Bustamante and others, 2011; Henrich and others, 2010), the work of Al-Attas
et al to better understand the diversity of human biology and genetics is particularly
valuable. However, reading Al-Attas and colleagues manuscript leaves several questions
and points of confusion for me which make it hard to contextualize it within the broader
literature on telomere biology.
First, in the separate analyses of maternal and paternal heritability of telomere
length, the sample sizes that these statistics are based on are not clear. Further,
what these ��h2�� values represent is ambiguous. They seem to be simply beta coefficients
(slopes) between a single parents and a child, but are reported as ��h2�� values,
which should be twice the single-parent beta coefficient (or equal to the midparental
beta co-efficient). Some clarity would be useful here. Since previous studies examining
sex-specific heritability patterns of telomere length have used correlation coefficients
rather than beta values, it would also be helpful to have these correlation coefficient
statistics reported so these results can be compared with past studies.
Second, I have some questions about the laboratory methods used to determine telomere
length. A qPCR method was used, but then telomere length measurements are given in
kilobases with no explanation for how such a conversion was conducted or how reliable
this conversion is. As well, the coefficient of variation across replicate samples
is not given as it should be if we are to evaluate the quality of these data.
I hope Al-Attas and colleagues can answer these questions so as to increase the value
of their findings for the scientific literature.
Bustamante CD, De La Vega FM, Burchard EG. 2011. Genomics for the world. Nature 475(7355):163-165.
Henrich J, Heine SJ, Norenzayan A. 2010. Most people are not WEIRD. Nature 466(7302):29-29.
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