We developed a maximum likelihood method that allows us to infer the distribution of associated variants even when many of them were missed by chance. We applied our method to the latest GWAS meta-analysis results of the GIANT consortium. It revealed that while the explained variance of genome-wide (GW) significant SNPs is around 10% for height, but the total explained variance likely to exist is estimated to be 29% (CI=[28–30%]). This methodology also enables us to predict the benefit of future GWA studies that aim to reveal more associated genetic markers via increased sample size. For more details click here.

A simple Matlab package of the algorithm can be downloaded from here. Read, modify and launch the main.m file.