Neurobiologists have discovered that a nearly identical version of a gene whose mutation produces an inherited language deficit in humans is a key component of the song-learning machinery in birds.
Erich Jarvis, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center
PHOTO CREDIT: Duke University
The researchers, who published their findings in the March 31, 2004, issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, said that their finding will aid research on how genes contribute to the architecture and function of brain circuitry for singing in birds.
Among the lead researchers was neurobiologist Erich Jarvis, Ph.D., of Duke University Medical Center and Constance Scharff of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Germany. Co-first authors of the paper were Sebastian Haesler of the Max Planck Institute and Kazuhiro Wada, M.D., of Duke. Other authors were Edward Morrissey of the University of Pennsylvania and Thierry Lints of the City College of New York. The work was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the German Research Foundation.
Dennis Meredith | dukemed news
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