New model of Williams syndrome may shed light on neurobiology of the human social brain

In a study spanning molecular genetics, stem cells and the sciences of both brain and behavior, researchers at University of California San Diego, with colleagues at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and elsewhere, have created a neurodevelopmental model of a rare genetic disorder that may provide new insights into the underlying neurobiology of the human social brain. The findings are published in the August 10 online edition of Nature. Scientists investigated Williams syndrome or WS, a rare genetic condition caused by deletion of one copy of 25 contiguous genes on chromosome 7, out of an estimated 30,000 genes in the brain. WS affects one in 10,000 people worldwide, and an estimated 20,000 Americans. The condition occurs equally in both genders and across cultures. WS results in a host of…


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