A team of University of Iowa researchers has solved one mystery that may eventually end a disfiguring birth defect. Dr. Jeff Murray, a U-of-I professor of pediatrics, pediatric dentistry and biology, is the study’s lead author.He says Cleft lip and palate is an inherited defect. We’ve identified the specific gene in which mutations will result in this particular birth defect. Dr. Murray explains how the information in the short run, it enables us to more effectively diagnose individuals who are at risk for having children with this disorder. In the long run, we hope it will lead to a better understanding of the biology that underlies the causes for these conditions, eventually leading to treatment.The findings appear today (September 2nd) in the advance online edition of Nature Genetics.