Leading the Way in Life Science Technologies

GEN Exclusives

More »

GEN News Highlights

More »
Mar 21, 2007

Prenatal Testing for X-Linked Mental Retardation a Possibility with New Discovery

  • Researchers identified a novel gene mutation that causes X-linked mental retardation, according to an article to be published online in The American Journal of Human Genetics.

    "We have identified the cause of problems in certain families and are able to tell whether or not women are carriers of the condition," says F. Lucy Raymond, Ph.D.,  of the Cambridge Institute of Medical Research and one of the investigators. "Consequently, the families that had previously chosen to forego having children because there was no method of testing can now be tested. We have been able to test a substantial number of people to identify whether or not they are carriers, and we can offer prenatal testing to the carriers who want it."

    Dr. Raymond and Patrick S. Tarpey of Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, another researcher on the study, describe the ZDHHC9 gene found in those with severe retardation as being mutated to the point of entirely losing function.
    Working through a large, international collaboration, the researchers collected genetic samples from 250 families in which at least two boys have mental retardation.

    "ZDHHC9 is a novel gene," remarks Dr. Raymond. "This gene would not have been predicted to play a role in mental retardation based on the previous genetics work. It was found only because we were systematically looking at all the genes on the X chromosome irrespective of what they do."


GEN Jobs powered by HireLifeScience.com connects you directly to employers in pharma, biotech, and the life sciences. View 40 to 50 fresh job postings daily or search for employment opportunities including those in R&D, clinical research, QA/QC, biomanufacturing, and regulatory affairs.
More »

Be sure to take the GEN Poll

What Does Brexit Mean for Biotech?

Do you agree with the contention that Brexit will NOT have a long-term negative impact on the British biotech industry?

More »