What Makes Faces Unique?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 7,655
    New research from the US Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab shows that gene enhancer determine craniofacial development.

    A new study from the US Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab shows that geneenhancers-regulatory sequences of DNA that act to turn or amplify the expression of a specific gene—are the major players in craniofacial development.  However, researchers don’t know the “how,” just that they “do.”  They identified more than 4,000 candidate enhancer sequences predicted to be active in fine-tuning the expression of genes involved in facial development.  They say that finding, mapping and understanding the general activity of these enhancers may help doctors to develop better diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to birth defects such as a cleft of the lip or facial palate.