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Together with European partners, UAB unravels basis of Singleton-Merten Syndrome, which causes heart calcification and early periodontitis.Mary MacDougallAn international group co-led by University of Alabama at Birmingham researcher Mary MacDougall, Ph.D., has unraveled the molecular basis for the rare, inherited genetic disorder, Singleton-Merten Syndrome (SMS). Individuals with SMS develop extreme, life-threatening calcification of the aorta and heart valves, early-onset periodontitis and root resorption of the teeth, decreases in bone density, and loss of bone tissue at the tips of fingers and toes. The cause of SMS is a missense mutation that changes a single amino acid in the protein MDA5 from...