Sunday, October 16, 2011

Missing Gene Cluster Linked to Autism

A cluster of genes is missing in children with autism, scientists at New York's Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have discovered, a finding they say moved them a significant step toward unmasking the genetic underpinnings of the condition.
The subject of autism-related genes remains controversial in some quarters where parent groups still insist factors such as vaccines and toxins are at the core of the developmental disorder. But scientists at the lab have been on the trail of a suspect gene cluster since 2007, when geneticist Dr. Michael Wigler first proposed it may play a major role. Wigler suggested the missing cluster is a 27-gene grouping on chromosome 16.

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