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Scientists Identify Genes That Influence Facial Features

4 years ago21 views

GeoBeats

Geo Beats

Researchers from the Joint Genome Institute at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, working with an international team of scientists, have found a connection between certain genes and the resulting facial features of animals.

Researchers from the Joint Genome Institute at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, working with an international team of scientists, have found a connection between certain genes and the resulting facial features of animals.

Studying mice DNA, the scientists were able to find thousands of small areas that control how the animal's face looks, and the results of the study also show that genetic alterations can change the shape of the face.

Even though the study was done using mice, researchers believe that the discovery applies to the human species, and other animals too.

They discovered that there are over 4 thousand parts of DNA in mice that contribute to the appearance of their face, with different parts directly affecting certain areas of development.

Researchers experimented with mutating the genes to see the effect in the mice subjects, and found subtle changes in the facial structures of the mice by looking at CT scans of their heads.

They hope this study will lead to further investigation into the treatment of craniofacial birth defects, like cleft palate or cleft lip for children at the embryonic stage.