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A gene critical for speech

Newly discovered stretch of DNA may have been important in evolution of language


HONOLULU — Humans may owe the gift of gab to a newly discovered gene that helps keeps vocal pipes limber.

Researchers discovered the gene, dubbed tospeak, in an Australian family with a speaking disorder. Many of the women in the family have weak, husky voices, while several of their male relatives cannot speak above a whisper, reported Raymond Clarke of the University of New South Wales’ St. George Hospital in Kogarah, Australia, October 21 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics. 

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