Outcomes of interest to demographers—fertility; health; education—are the product of both an individual’s genetic makeup and his or her social environment. Yet Gene × Environment research (GxE) currently deploys a limited toolkit on the genetic side to study gene-environment interplay: polygenic scores (PGS, or what we call mPGS) that reflect the influence of genetics on levels of an outcome. The purpose of the present paper is to develop a genetic summary measure better suited for GxE research. We develop what we call variance polygenic scores (vPGS), or polygenic scores that reflect genetic contributions to plasticity in outcomes. The first part of the analysis uses the UK Biobank (N ∼ 326,000 in the training set) and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) (N = 10,524) to compare four approaches for constructing polygenic scores for plasticity. The results show that two widely-used methods for discovering which genetic variants affect outcome variability fail to serve as distinctive new tools for GxE. Then, using the polygenic scores that do capture distinctive genetic contributions to plasticity, we analyze heterogeneous effects of a UK education reform on health and educational attainment. The results show the properties of a new tool useful for population scientists studying the interplay of nature and nurture and for population-based studies that are releasing polygenic scores to applied researchers. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
- Downloaded 426 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 62,971
- In genetics: 2,916
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 17,610
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 18,625
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!