Zebrafish make waves in our understanding of a common craniofacial birth defect

Children are not as hard-headed as adults—in a very literal sense. Babies are born with soft spots and flexible joints called sutures at the junctions where various sections of their skull bones meet. If these sutures fuse prematurely, the skull cannot expand to accommodate the child’s growing brain—a serious birth defect called craniosynostosis that can cause mental retardation and even death.

With the goal of helping children with this dangerous and painful condition, scientists in the USC Stem Cell laboratories of Gage Crump and Robert E. Maxson, Jr., pioneered a way to study craniosynostosis in zebrafish, as published in the journal eLife.

To read more, visit stemcell.keck.usc.edu/zebrafish-make-waves-in-our-understanding-of-a-common-craniofacial-birth-defect.