Taiwanese researchers discover link between gene and rare brain disorder

MALFORMATION:
One of the causes of lissencephaly is mutation of the CEP85L gene, which might not be hereditary, a researcher said, urging prenatal controls

  • By Lee I-chia / Staff reporter

Researchers yesterday said that they have identified a gene that is an important cause for posterior predominant lissencephaly, a rare brain disorder.

Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Neurology Epilepsy Section director Tsai Meng-han (蔡孟翰) said that the brain normally has folds, or gyri, which correlate with specific cognitive abilities.

However, people with lissencephaly have gyral malformations that cause parts or the entire surface of their brains to appear smooth, which gives the disorder its name, meaning “smooth brain.”

Lissencephaly is a rare brain malformation caused by gene mutations, with an incidence rate of about 12 per million among newborns, he said, adding that there are an estimated 300 cases in Taiwan.

The life expectancy of most people

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Virgo and LIGO Discover the Biggest Gravitational Wave Source So Far

The Virgo Collaboration and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration recently reported the discovery of GW190521, the biggest gravitational wave binary viewed so far. Researchers from the Rochester Institute of Technology played a crucial role in finding and analyzing the event.

This artist’s concept illustrates a hierarchical scheme for merging black holes. LIGO and Virgo recently observed a black hole merger with a final mass of 142 times that of the sun, making it the largest of its kind observed in gravitational waves to date. The event is thought to have occurred when two black holes of about 66 and 85 solar masses spiraled into each other and coalesced. Image Credit: LIGO/Caltech/MIT/R. Hurt (IPAC).

The team detected the signal by using the National Science Foundation’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). The mass of the two inspiraling black holes was around 85 and 66 solar masses,

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