Heart Defect Gene Discovered

By Sara Lee Kessler

 Developmental biologist Rebecca Burdine and her team of researchers at Princeton University have discovered a gene, called CCDC40.  It controls the proper placement of organs in the body cavity, something scientists refer to as left-right patterning.  The study, which appears in the on-line journal, “Nature Genetics,” this month, is important because CCDC40 can cause congenital heart defects, the most common birth defect that’s known.

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