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Scientists Discover Gene Key to Human Speech - November 6, 2009

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THURSDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A gene that plays a role in human vocal development and speech has been identified by an international team of scientists.

They pinpointed the gene, which they named "tospeak," after analyzing the DNA of members of a large family with a severe vocal disorder, which included altered composition of the vocal cords and a malformed voice box.

The scientists said the most exciting findings were that the tospeak gene is unique to primates and that the gene has a special control region, known as a promoter, that's only found in humans.

The study was scheduled to be presented at the American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting, Oct. 20 to 24 in Honolulu.

Read the Rest of this Article on the US News and World Report Website

Tags: News of the Week Language Newsletter November 2009