Gene critical for brain development discovered

Biotechin.Asia

Scientists at A*STAR have discovered a gene, KATNB1, which is responsible for the nervous system development in humans. By sequencing the genome of individuals of normal height but with a very small head size, the scientists revealed that these individuals had mutations in the KATNB1 gene, indicating that this gene is important for proper human brain development. Microcephaly (characterized by a ‘small head’) is a condition diagnosed by measuring the baby’s head circumference at birth. Dr. Bruno Reversade’s team has published the data in Neuron, Cell Press. Dr Reversade said, “We will continue to search for other genes important for brain development as they may unlock some of the secrets explaining how we, humans, have evolved such cognitive abilities.”

Prof Birgit Lane, Executive Director of IMB, said, “This is one of a small number of genes that scientists have found to be vital for brain development. The…

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