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Friday, October 21, 2011

The Curious Case of Face

Mmm, curious. I might show myself here to be the genetics ignoramus I am, but you have to wonder about the "we don't know if it's genetics or environment" point in an article about facial features that would surely be genetically pre determined? Anyway I include this article because if nothing else it's interesting


  1. I guess you could hypothesise that if there are differences in the brain of a person with autism, those differences might affect brain structure enough to change facial shape/proportion subtly but significantly? I mean through actually affecting bone development. I have no idea if that might be possible.
    So say they found the autism gene, that would be the genotype, and the genotype is expressed in facial structures (the phenotype).
    Alternatively, autistic behaviours might affect the use of facial muscles enough to create subtle but significant differences in facial structure?
    I should just go and read the article and see what they are proposing but it's fun to guess first, and I'm studying genotype/phenotype/environment interaction for an exam so this is helping me think about it more practically....

  2. Let me know what you think after reading the article :) I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

  3. The abstract explains the hypothesis quite clearly and this page include a link to the provisional pdf as well.
    I haven't had time to read it properly yet but it's very interesting.
    "Thus face and brain in the embryo develop in concert, both temporally and genetically, and altered phenotypes of the face should reflect altered phenotypes of the brain via their shared
    developmental program."

  4. Yes it is interesting. Thanks Lisa.