• Open Access

Child Development and Molecular Genetics: 14 Years Later


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  • Support is gratefully acknowledged from the U.K. Medical Research Council (G0500079) and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (HD44454 and HD46167).

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Robert Plomin, MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, PO80, King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London, SE5 8AF, United Kingdom. Electronic mail may be sent to robert.plomin@kcl.ac.uk.


Fourteen years ago, the first article on molecular genetics was published in this journal: Child Development, Molecular Genetics, andWhat to Do With Genes Once They Are Found (R. Plomin & M. Rutter, 1998). The goal of the article was to outline what developmentalists can do with genes once they are found. These new directions for developmental research are still relevant today. The problem lies with the phrase “once they are found”: It has been much more difficult than expected to identify genes responsible for the heritability of complex traits and common disorders, the so-called missing heritability problem. The present article considers reasons for the missing heritability problem and possible solutions.