Sat, Oct 26, 2013 - Page 7 News List

DNA identified for facial features

The Guardian, London

Visel said that the primary use of this information, beyond basic genetic knowledge, would be as part of a diagnostic tool, for clinicians who might be able to advise parents if they are likely to pass on particular mutations to their children.

Peter Hammond, a professor of computational biology at University College London’s Institute of Child Health, who researches genetic effects on facial development, said understanding how faces develop can be important for health.

“There are many genetic conditions where the face is a first clue to diagnosis, and even though the facial differences are not necessarily severe, the condition may involve significant intellectual impairment or adverse behavioral traits, as well as many other effects,” he said. “Diagnosis is important for parents as it reduces the stress of not knowing what is wrong, but also can be important for prognosis.”

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