Monday, November 27, 2006

Gene code find will help spot foetus dyslexia

Scientists from Edinburgh University claim to having identified the gene sequence that determines a person’s ability to work with letters and numbers. The findings of the 20-year study conducted by them suggest that those likely to suffer from extreme forms of dyslexia can be identified before they are born, and given extra care to help deal with the condition.
Timothy Bates, one of the co-authors of the study, says that they have unveiled a combination of 13 genes that presumably affects a person’s ability to work with letters and numbers. “We believe this combination of 13 genes makes all the difference between someone who reads flawlessly and speedily and someone who stumbles on basic words,” he said. “We are confident these genes explain the bulk of the genetic effect. It tells us that reading ability boils down to the same common biological mechanism.”
The geneticists examined 1,300 people for their abilities in reading, writing and spelling, and thereby identified the genes influencing their performance.
They discovered that it was the same set of genes that was responsible for dyslexia, and milder spelling and reading problems.
“This is fantastic news. The earlier dyslexic children are diagnosed and given help, the better their chances of living fulfiled lives,” said Vikki McNicol of the British Dyslexia Association. ANI

Fertility industry moves online

Washington: More and more people have found life on the internet as the $3 billion fertility industry moves increasingly online. But as with all online ventures, shopping on the Web can carry risks. In this case, the net may provide consumers—people desperate to have a child—a faster and more discreet way to find egg or sperm donors.
But it can also lead to lost money and broken dreams, say fertility experts. “It’s not surprising that much of this business is migrating into Cyberspace. Most people don’t mind buying a Lands’ End item at the store, but it’s awkward to buy eggs in public,” said professor Debora Spar of Harvard Business School, an advocate for regulation of the US fertility industry.

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