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DNA: Nearly 70 Genes Identified As Hearing Loss Causes

February 19-23, 2011, Baltimore: National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported scientists will be presenting their latest research findings at the 2011 Midwinter Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO).  

Genes and Deafness

DNA, Genes and Hearing LossNearly 70 genes in our DNA have been identified as causes for hereditary hearing loss so far, and many more gene candidates continue to be investigated. In this Presidential Symposium lecture, NIDCD director James F. Battey, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., provides a real-time snapshot of where we stand in the study of genes and hearing loss.

He’ll share how advances in genome science have greatly enhanced our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that govern how we hear and will discuss how two new resources—the Knockout Mouse Phenotyping Program (KOMP2) and Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS)—show special promise in the coming years. KOMP2, an international effort to study the characteristics of mice after a gene has been inactivated, will generate hundreds of new mouse models for studying hearing loss.

GWAS, a system for rapidly scanning people’s genomes for variants that might be associated with a disease, will provide an opportunity to pinpoint the genes responsible for other, more genetically complex communication disorders, such as autism, specific language impairment, and age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis.

Source: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

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