The Complicated Causation of Cleft Lips and Palates — Genetics is only part of the still-unknown equation.

Noah and Karl superman cape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here I am back in November with Noah, my superhero friend with a cleft lip and palate. Recently, I came across another great picture of him , as a shy ladies man. Well, really Noah is with his twin sister, and she has no clefts. This suggests the genetic complexity of clefts. . . and genetics is only one causal element.

Noah Madderra & sis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can only one twin have a cleft lip and palate?

If twins are fraternal like Noah and his sister, they have a different genetic makeup. So it makes some sense that only one might have clefts. Still, there are other biological (nature)  factors besides genetics. And environmental (nurture) factors are also in play. Inadequate folic acid,  vitamin B9, before the 6th week in mothers-to-be of  is one of the environmental causal factors tentatively identified by researchers.

More about identical twins and clefts in the next post .