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Zika in South Florida

Zika in South Florida

Due to the Zika virus, the world is suffering from its first known epidemic of microcephaly, a devastating brain developmental condition that decreases the number of neurons in the brain, along with brain size and function at birth.

Mutations in many human genes have been associated in causing the relatively rare occurrence of this disease. Mutations in one such gene — NDE1 (referred to as “nood-E”) — cause a particularly severe form of microcephaly.

The Columbia researchers — David Doobin, an MD/PhD student, Richard Vallee, PhD, professor of pathology and cell biology, and others in Dr. Vallee’s lab — reasoned that investigating NDE1’s role in microcephaly should provide important clues to the causes of microcephaly in general.

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