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Craniofacial Research

Heading in the Right Direction
(May 2013)
Andrew Wilkie, M.D.Rob Maxson, Ph.D.Research into the genetics of craniosynostosis continues to progress. A recent case in point is the gene TCF12 . more.....

Recovery Act Funds Help to Haul in a Gene of Interest
(March 2010)
Andrea Moreira and Dr. Tracie FerreiraThe ongoing search to find a gene holds promise for craniofacial research.  Thanks to the Recovery Act, the search also helps to bring out the promise in several students at University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.  more...

Neural Crest Cells: The First Mystery of Craniofacial Development
(September 2008)
Neural crest cellsIn 1868, the Swiss embryologist Wilhelm His spotted a thin band of previously undetected cells bunched between fetal ectoderm and the inchoate neural tube of a developing chick. Dr. His called his find the Zwischenstrang, or “the intermediate cord.” By the end of the century, the German word Zwischenstrang had been scrapped for the more descriptive English term “neural crest cells,” denoting the geographic crest of the neural tube as their site of origin. The cells also had become a topic of controversy. Reports had begun to trickle into the scientific literature that neural crest cells in some fish gave rise to neurons and nerve fibers of the cranium, while those in certain salamanders were proposed to produce cartilage of the head and dentin forming cells of the teeth. Many biologists claimed this was preposterous. more...

Craniofacial Research: Scientists Report New Lead in Craniofacial Development
(January 2003)Richard Schneider, PhD
Jill Helms, DDS, PhDIn the 1830s, when Charles Darwin first visited the remote Galapagos Islands, he noticed something striking. Of the dozen or so species of finch that inhabited the islands each seemed to occupy its own unique ecological niche. Darwin speculated that each finch must have evolved highly specialized beaks that gave them a survival advantage over other species within their habitats. "Darwin's finches" are one of the most cited examples of natural selection, a cornerstone concept in modern biology. more... 

Cleft Lip and Palate: Van der Woude Syndrome
(October 20Brian Schutte, PhD02)
Jeff Murray, MDAfter a nearly 20-year search, a team of scientists report in the October 2002 issue of Nature Genetics that it has discovered a gene involved in causing Van der Woude Syndrome, the most common form of syndromic cleft lip and palate. The Inside Scoop recently spoke with two authors on the paper: NIDCR grantees Jeff Murray, M.D., and Brian Schutte, Ph.D., both of whom are scientists in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Iowa. They shared their thoughts on the difficulty in identifying the Van der Woude Syndrome gene, the possible scientific benefits of studying twins, and the implications of this gene discovery on the more common non syndromic cleft lip and palate. more...

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This page last updated: February 26, 2014