Statistician Paul Williams, a staff scientist in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division, specializes in investigating the instances where genetics and environment are most closely intertwined. His work focuses on a phenomenon called “quantile-dependent expressivity,” which describes the relationship between the genes that predispose people to certain traits that can be amplified by behavior and environmental factors.
The Biology Behind Your Love (or Hatred) of Coffee
New research by Paul Williams, staff scientist in the Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging Division, suggests that our intake of coffee is affected by a positive feedback loop between genetics and the environment. This phenomenon, known as “quantile-specific heritability,” is also associated with cholesterol levels and body weight, and is thought to play a role in other human physiological and behavioral traits that defy simple explanation.
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