I am slow in commenting on a paper that has already been published earlier this year – Joe Terwillingers vivid refutation of the fundamental theorem of the hapmap proponents that
if a marker is in tight LD with a polymorphism that directly impacts disease risk, as measured by the metric r^2, then one would be able to detect an association between the marker and disease with sample size that was increased by a factor of 1/r^2 over that needed to detect the effect of the functional variant directly
I cannot comment on the statistical proof but fear from my recent experience with Crohn and asthma tags that he may be right with his assumption: Even marker in high LD with the functional variant may not show any association at all. These may be bad news for all those currently running large screening programs with hapmap based variants believing that P(A|BC)=P(A|Bc)=P(A|B), yea, yea.
Tag SNPs also do not work with CNVs
A new study of 12 Mb DNA sequence in 927 individuals representing 52 populations now finds good portability of of tag SNPs between the 4 hapmap groups and any of the 52 populations (except some African populations like the Mandenka, Bantu, Yoruba, Biaka Pygmy, Mbuti Pygmy and San). The paper has some exceptional well done graphics – and I am quite happy that the resolution of European nations leaves some gaps for our forthcoming ECRHS papers (a poster had already been on display at the 3rd Annual International HapMap Project in Cambridge, Massachusetts).
“Die Botschaft hörâ€™ ich wohl, allein mir fehlt der Glaube” (Goethe, “I hear the message well…”). The usefulness of tagSNPs in disease association studies still remains to be shown (I still renember comments like cr.. map). At present I neither believe in rare variants nor in common common variants but a permanent reshuffling of rare, frequent and highly abundant variants. Yea, yea.