Determining how genetic variation contributes to human health and disease is a critical challenge. As one of the most genetically tractable model organisms, yeast has played a central role in meeting this challenge. The advent of new technologies, including high-throughput DNA sequencing and synthesis, proteomics, and computational methods, has vastly increased the power of yeast-based approaches to determine the consequences of human genetic variation. Recent successes include systematic exploration of the effects of gene dosage, large-scale analysis of the effect of coding variation on gene function, and the use of humanized yeast to model disease. By virtue of its manipulability, small genome size, and genetic tractability, yeast is poised to help us understand human genetic variation.
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