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Embryo abnormalities - mice study

Scientists, using mice, have identified a gene that plays an important role in embryo development. Researchers at the University of California San Francisco and the University of Washington, USA, believe that the gene Cnpy4, is linked to physical abnormalities in babies. The Cnpy4 gene is involved in something called the Hedgehog signaling pathway – a sum of chemical reactions regulating the cells- which is important in human embryo development. Mice that had a mutation in that gene were born with physical abnormalities, such as extra fingers or toes (polydactyly) or abnormalities in their spines and ribs. "This pathway is one of a handful that are central to human development. And because the same pathways are affected in various disorders, we think they could be a target for therapies for cancers that we know are related to Hedgehog signaling.”, said Ophir Klein author of the study and executive director of Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children's, California. Picture credit: Megan Lo et al, Nature Communications (2022)


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