In this week's Nature Genetics, two independent research groups of researchers report on the use of genome-wide association analyses to identify new loci associated with the rare immune condition Behcet's disease and the eye condition central corneal thickness, respectively. In the first study, nearly 800,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms with imputed genotypes in 1,200 Turkish Behcet's disease patients were analyzed in comparison to roughly 1,200 controls. The result was the discovery of new susceptibility loci, and hints that the condition may be related to two spondyloarthropathy diseases, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis.
In the second study, a meta-analysis of more than 20,000 European and Asian individuals identified 16 new loci associated with central corneal thickness at genome-wide significance. Two loci in particular conferred relatively large risks for the related disorder keratoconus, while another was linked to open-angle glaucoma. Taken together, the data indicate that central corneal thickness-associate loci convey eye disease risk.