Visualization of the Week: A Mitochondrial Manhattan Plot

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This cool visualization from the biological sciences comes courtesy of the Getting Genetics Done blog, written by Stephen Turner an assistant professor of public health sciences and director of the Bioinformatics Core at the University of Virginia.

Manhattan plots have become the standard way to visualize results for genetic association studies, allowing the viewer to instantly see significant results in the rough context of their genomic position.

Thanks to the clever work of several graduate students in the Vanderbilt Center for Human Genetics Research (most notably Ben Grady), mitochondrial genetic associations can be visualized in the context of key regions of the mitochondrial genome using a radial plot in the R package ggplot2. It is amazing how much innovative research can be accomplished by a little open source application called “R.”


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