June 2011 Archives

Graduate student John Starbuck will conduct fieldwork in Lake Buena Vista, FL from July 7-9th to collect 3D facial images of individuals with mosaic Down syndrome and their siblings. John was recently featured in the research highlight section of MDS Press by the coordinators of this conference: http://imdsa.org/Resources/Documents/June%202011%20(1).pdf.

Stephen Matthews co-authors a new book on the religious landscape of Chicago.

Co-authored with Wilbur Zelinsky (Professor Emeritus, Geography)

Publishers website is:


Graduate student John Starbuck and co-authors recently had a paper accepted for publication in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Details about this paper are shown below.

Morphological Integration of Soft-Tissue Facial Morphology in Down Syndrome Individuals and Siblings

John M. Starbuck,1 Roger H. Reeves,2 Joan T. Richtsmeier1,3

1Department of Anthropology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 2Department of Physiology and Institute for Genetic Medicine, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MA 21218

3Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MA 21218

Grant sponsor: NIH; Grant number R01-HD038384, R01-DE018500; NSF; Grant number GRF-053135


            Down syndrome (DS), resulting from trisomy of chromosome 21, is the most common live-born human aneuploidy. The phenotypic expression of trisomy 21 produces variable, though characteristic, facial morphology. Although certain facial features have been documented quantitatively and qualitatively as characteristic of DS (e.g., epicanthic folds, macroglossia, hypertelorism), all of these traits occur in other craniofacial conditions with an underlying genetic cause. We hypothesize that the typical Down syndrome (DS) face is integrated differently than the face of non-DS siblings, and that the pattern of morphological integration unique to individuals with DS will yield information about underlying developmental associations between facial regions. We statistically compared morphological integration patterns of immature DS faces (N=53) with those of non-DS siblings (N=54), aged 6-12 yrs. using 31 distances estimated from 3D coordinate data representing 17 anthropometric landmarks recorded on 3D digital photographic images. Facial features are affected differentially in DS, as evidenced by statistically significant differences in integration both within and between facial regions. Our results suggest a differential affect of trisomy on facial prominences during craniofacial development.