New DNA tool predicts height, shows promise for serious illness assessment
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IMAGE: Stephen Hsu, vice president of research and graduate studies at Michigan State University, has developed a new DNA tool that can accurately predict people’s height, and more importantly, could potentially… view more 

Credit: Derrick L. Turner, Michigan State University

EAST LANSING, Mich. — A new DNA tool created by Michigan State University can accurately predict people’s height, and more importantly, could potentially assess their risk for serious illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer.

For the first time, the tool, or algorithm, builds predictors for human traits such as height, bone density and even the level of education a person might achieve, purely based on one’s genome. But the applications may not stop there.

“While we have validated this tool for these three outcomes, we can now apply this method to predict other complex traits related to health risks such as heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer,” said Stephen Hsu, lead investigator of the study and vice president for research and graduate studies at MSU. “This is only the beginning.”

Further applications have the potential to dramatically advance the practice of precision health, which allows physicians to intervene as early as possible in patient care and prevent or

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