Saudi scientists spot gene triggering neck, shoulder birth defect

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Saudi researchers have claimed this week they have located a gene behind a defect that causes babies to be born with their head attached to their shoulders.

One in every 40,000 babies across the world is born with this condition, which is thought to be transferred through family.

Despite the odds, the defect has affected three individuals in one Saudi family, which include a 2-year-old daughter.

Researchers said the discovery could bring about a new life for the sufferers.

“Through reaching this family, we were able to spot a malfunction in the gene causing the defect,” a researcher told Al Arabiya in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

Detecting this condition early on in pregnancy could possibly mean preventing this at birth, the researchers added.

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