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Researchers find 'learning' gene

WASHINGTON (AP) - Researchers have discovered a specific gene that influences learning. Laboratory mice lacking the gene - which also is present in humans - cannot get through a water-filled maze as well as their normal kin. Researchers studied the gene using engineered mutant mice that lack a specific part of the genetic pattern in the brain.

Losing the gene is like closing the gate to one type of learning, said Charles Stevens, a neurobiologist of the Howard Hughes Institute. Two studies, involving three different research groups, are published today in the journal Science.