Contrary to the popular song, the neck bone is actually connected to one of 22 separate head bones that make up the human skull. These plate-like bones intersect at specialized joints called sutures, which normally allow the skull to expand as the brain grows, but are absent in children with a birth defect called craniosynostosis. A new study in Nature Communications presents a detailed cellular atlas of the developing coronal suture, the one most commonly fused as a consequence of single gene mutations. The study brought together scientists from the laboratories of Gage CrumpRobert Maxson, and Amy Merrill at USC, and the laboratories of Andrew Wilkie and Stephen Twigg at the University of Oxford.

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