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What is heritability anyhow?

| | December 23, 2013

Schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder and autism have all had recent attention for being “genetically caused.” In scientific research, being genetically caused usually corresponds to having a high estimated heritability.

But what exactly is heritability? What does it mean when researchers and journalists label traits like these as genetic?

The nature-nurture debate historically referred to the disagreement between whether traits are caused by ones biology (nature) or the environment (nurture).

These days, disagreements centre on how much nature or nurture contributes. Nature – now usually referring to genes – may be more of a cause of schizophrenia, even though both genes and environment contribute.

Read the full, original story: Explainer: what is heritability?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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