Daniel MacArthur at Genetic Future reacts to 23andMe's news about a genome-wide association study seeking to identify variants connected to athletic prowess. The study, which compared 100 NFL players to a set of controls, failed to locate genetic differences that might explain the football players' athletic skill.
MacArthur calls the results "unsurprising," noting that the study was underpowered for finding variants of modest effect. "A genome-wide association study on a highly complex trait with a sample size of 100 has, historically speaking, a vanishingly small chance of yielding any positive results at all," he writes. "If you want to do a GWAS for athletic performance, at least wait until you have a homogeneous sample that's well-powered enough to have a fighting chance of detecting real associations."