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New Cleft Lip Database Being Created In UK

New Cleft Lip Database Being Created In UK

The worlds largest cleft pallet research database launched in the UK…

The world’s largest research database for cleft lip and palate is to be set up in the UK in the hope of discovering what causes the congenital abnormalities.

Cleft lips and palates are estimated to affect more than 1,200 babies each in the UK alone, however medical experts still have no idea why they occur. A cleft lip develops when the separate sides of the face do not join together properly when the baby

The UK government is now encouraging parents of babies born with the condition to enroll in the £11m, five-year program.

The Cleft Collective aims to compile and analyze DNA data from more than 3,000 children in an attempt to pin down the cause of cleft lips, and determine the best course of treatment.

The program, which is funded by the UK charity the Healing Foundation, universities and NHS partners, will be run at two Bristol universities, Liverpool University and a clinical trials center based at the University of Manchester

Prof Jonathan Sandy, lead researcher for the Bristol gene bank, said:

“Children born with cleft often face unique challenges. These include speech and language issues, educational difficulties and broader health concerns…

“We do not know if these problems are caused by the genes that may be responsible for cleft or by other factors, such as lifestyle or ‘environmental’ factors. This study will help answer these important questions and could also solve the ultimate mystery of what causes cleft in the first place.”

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  1. Michelle Roberts: Cleft lip research launched in UK. BBC News, 03/28/2012.
  2. Thumbnail Credt: Felsir, 2007.

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