Research Topic

The Genes and Mechanisms Underlying Normal-Range Craniofacial Variation

About this Research Topic

Normal-range variation in human facial features is under strong genetic control, as evidenced from numerous twin and family studies. Despite this well-known fact, we currently have a poor understanding of the specific genes involved. Only within the last five years have studies begun to dissect the genetic architecture of human facial traits, by leveraging advances in 3D craniofacial imaging, morphometrics, and genome-wide mapping approaches. At the same time, large-scale studies in mice have started to map quantitative trait loci for skull shape. By offering an improved understanding of the genetic factors that shape our diverse facial features, these studies have the potential to provide novel insights for developmental biology, evolution, forensics, and even the clinical management of craniofacial dysmorphology.

The goal of this compendium is to highlight the work of scientists on the front lines of this exciting area of research. We expect and welcome contributions from wide variety of disciplines, including human geneticists, anthropologists, biomedical imaging experts, forensic scientists, developmental and molecular biologists, and others. Through this Research Topic, the first of its kind focusing on this theme, we hope to bring together a community of scientists from these diverse fields. We are seeking a combination of original research articles and review articles, covering topics that include gene mapping of craniofacial traits in humans and mice, bioinformatics approaches to identifying potential functional variants, potential evolutionary implications, the relationship between normal-range craniofacial variation and human clinical dysmorphology, applications to forensic science, and some of the methodological and ethical issues impacting the field.


Keywords: 3D Facial Imaging, Morphometrics, Gene Mapping, Complex Traits, Quantitative Trait Loci


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Normal-range variation in human facial features is under strong genetic control, as evidenced from numerous twin and family studies. Despite this well-known fact, we currently have a poor understanding of the specific genes involved. Only within the last five years have studies begun to dissect the genetic architecture of human facial traits, by leveraging advances in 3D craniofacial imaging, morphometrics, and genome-wide mapping approaches. At the same time, large-scale studies in mice have started to map quantitative trait loci for skull shape. By offering an improved understanding of the genetic factors that shape our diverse facial features, these studies have the potential to provide novel insights for developmental biology, evolution, forensics, and even the clinical management of craniofacial dysmorphology.

The goal of this compendium is to highlight the work of scientists on the front lines of this exciting area of research. We expect and welcome contributions from wide variety of disciplines, including human geneticists, anthropologists, biomedical imaging experts, forensic scientists, developmental and molecular biologists, and others. Through this Research Topic, the first of its kind focusing on this theme, we hope to bring together a community of scientists from these diverse fields. We are seeking a combination of original research articles and review articles, covering topics that include gene mapping of craniofacial traits in humans and mice, bioinformatics approaches to identifying potential functional variants, potential evolutionary implications, the relationship between normal-range craniofacial variation and human clinical dysmorphology, applications to forensic science, and some of the methodological and ethical issues impacting the field.


Keywords: 3D Facial Imaging, Morphometrics, Gene Mapping, Complex Traits, Quantitative Trait Loci


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

28 February 2018 Abstract
29 June 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

28 February 2018 Abstract
29 June 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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