Variability in the human genome has far exceeded expectations. In the course of the past three years, we have learned that much of our naturally occurring genetic variation consists of large-scale differences in genome structure, including copy-number variants (CNVs) and balanced rearrangements such as inversions. Recent studies have begun to reveal that structural variants are an important contributor to disease risk; however, structural variants as a class may not conform well to expectations of current methods for gene mapping. New approaches are needed to understand the contribution of structural variants to disease.
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