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Relationship of brain and skull more than just packaging

The researchers did not compare one brain to another or one skull to another, nor did they use the data in a coordinate system. Instead, they measured the correlations between measure taken on brain and those taken on skull. Overall, they found that the correlations between brain and skull were very high.

Because normal infants almost never have MRIs and CT scans done at the same time, there are no controls available with which to compare the correlation of skull with brain measurements. Because even infants with craniosynostosis usually do not have both CT scans and MRIs done on the same day, the available study population is small, however, the researchers plan to increase the number of infants studied.

Richtsmeier notes that, from a medical point of view, the researchers want to find genetic mechanism underlying craniosynostosis so that the problem can be prevented or cured. From an evolutionary point of view, researchers focus on the developmental basis for the physical change observed in the fossil record and propose hypotheses about the evolution of the genetic traits responsible for these changes. The researchers propose that the genetic basis of the complex regulatory sequences that cause the changes documented in craniosynostosis infants may also account for the changes observed in the evolution of the vertebrate skull.

The researchers include Richtsmeier; Aldridge; Valerie B. DeLeon and Jayesh Panchal, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Alex A. Kane, Johns Hopkins and Washington University School of Medicine; Jeffrey L. Marsh, St. John's Mercy Medical Center, St. Louis; Peng Yan, computer scientist, Penn State anthropology department; and Theodore M. Cole III, University of Missouri ?Kansas City.


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Source:Penn State


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