Elusive Genes Could Reassure Parents of Cleft Lip and Palate Babies

Elusive Genes Could Reassure Parents of Cleft Lip and Palate Babies

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

Cleft lip and palate are some of the most common birth defects globally, affecting 1 in 800 children. A team of Australian and international scientists have discovered four genes linked to a significant proportion of cleft lip and cleft palates. The striking finding could enable families with cleft babies to more accurately gauge their risk of having another child with the conditions. The researchers used next-generation sequencing to analyze the protein-coding genes of 209 people from families with a multi-generational history of cleft lip and palate. Dr. Timothy Cox, chair of pediatric craniofacial medicine at Seattle Children's Research Institute, who co-led the study, says the research opens the door for further research that could lead to new treatments. “The genetic pathway that emerged from the data gathered through collaboration with clinical teams from around the world is arguably one of the most significant advances in cleft lip and palate genetics in the last 15 years,” said Cox, also from the UW Division of Craniofacial Medicine.

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