To help uncover the genetic determinants of complex disease, a scientist often designs an association study using either unrelated subjects or family members within pedigrees. But which of these two subject recruitment paradigms is preferable? This editorial addresses the debate over the relative merits of family- and population-based genetic association studies. We begin by briefly recounting the evolution of genetic epidemiology and the rich crossroads of statistics and genetics. We then detail the arguments for the two aforementioned paradigms in recent and current applications. Finally, we speculate on how the debate may progress with the emergence of next-generation sequencing technologies.

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Published in Journal of Biometrics & Biostatistics, v. 3, issue 4, e108, p. 1-2.

© 2012 Fardo DW, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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