The human genome is almost identical from person to person, but we all have small differences which make us unique.
This can be as small as single changes in the nucleotide bases of DNA, which are known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).
As well as contributing to our physical features, these changes can mean that certain individuals, or populations are more or less susceptible to a disease.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) aim to identify these differences, and usually present this complex data in a scatterplot known as a Manhattan plot.
In this beautiful illustration of the Manhattan skyline :
🧬 Each window represents an SNP
🧬 The position along the x axis represents the genomic location
🧬 Each building represents a chromosome
🧬 The y axis shows the likelihood of a SNP being associated with the trait in question (the higher dot, the higher the probability)
Thank you to 🇺🇸 Gurmannat “Mannat” Kalra, molecular medicine PhD student at University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). Biology is her passion. Gurmannat creates interpretive paintings to make biological concepts easier to understand and remember.