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See detailIntroducing the COVID-19 crisis Special Education Needs Coping Survey
Dukes, Daniel; Van Herwegen, Jo; Alessandri, Michael et al

E-print/Working paper (2021)

Individuals with special education needs have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as they have been shown to be at high risk of losing medical and institutional support at a time when ... [more ▼]

Individuals with special education needs have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as they have been shown to be at high risk of losing medical and institutional support at a time when people are being asked to stay isolated, suffering increased anxiety and depression as a consequence. Their families have often found themselves under tremendous pressure to provide support, engendering financial hardship, and physical and emotional strains. In such times, it is vital that international collaborations assess the impact on the individuals and their families, affording the opportunity to make national and international comparisons of how people have coped and what needs to be done to optimize the measures taken by families, associations and governments. This paper introduces one such collaboration. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification of a novel BBS gene (BBS12) highlights the major role of a vertebrate-specific branch of chaperonin-related proteins in Bardet-Biedl syndrome.
Stoetzel, Corinne; Muller, Jean; Laurier, Virginie et al

in American Journal of Human Genetics (2007), 80(1), 1-11

Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) is primarily an autosomal recessive ciliopathy characterized by progressive retinal degeneration, obesity, cognitive impairment, polydactyly, and kidney anomalies. The disorder ... [more ▼]

Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) is primarily an autosomal recessive ciliopathy characterized by progressive retinal degeneration, obesity, cognitive impairment, polydactyly, and kidney anomalies. The disorder is genetically heterogeneous, with 11 BBS genes identified to date, which account for ~70% of affected families. We have combined single-nucleotide-polymorphism array homozygosity mapping with in silico analysis to identify a new BBS gene, BBS12. Patients from two Gypsy families were homozygous and haploidentical in a 6-Mb region of chromosome 4q27. FLJ35630 was selected as a candidate gene, because it was predicted to encode a protein with similarity to members of the type II chaperonin superfamily, which includes BBS6 and BBS10. We found pathogenic mutations in both Gypsy families, as well as in 14 other families of various ethnic backgrounds, indicating that BBS12 accounts for approximately 5% of all BBS cases. BBS12 is vertebrate specific and, together with BBS6 and BBS10, defines a novel branch of the type II chaperonin superfamily. These three genes are characterized by unusually rapid evolution and are likely to perform ciliary functions specific to vertebrates that are important in the pathophysiology of the syndrome, and together they account for about one-third of the total BBS mutational load. Consistent with this notion, suppression of each family member in zebrafish yielded gastrulation-movement defects characteristic of other BBS morphants, whereas simultaneous suppression of all three members resulted in severely affected embryos, possibly hinting at partial functional redundancy within this protein family. [less ▲]

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