Currently, I am reading articles by science journalists in well-respected newspapers and magazines, telling us about the prospect of stuttering mice. And other highly inaccurate stuff.
I am nearly convinced that there will NOT be a stuttering mouse. The Drayna group claims that single mutations in one of three genes, forming part of a metabolic pathway, causes stuttering in nearly all cases. This finding needs to be replicated for me to believe it.
Consistent with their finding, they (or collaborators) plan to create mutations in mice, and see what is happening. They will most likely find subtle damage in some cell types in some brain regions, but they will not hear stuttering mice. People need to get away from the myth that a gene is coding for a special property. Genes deliver the instruction to create a protein, and in combination these genes can create complex molecules needed by the body. My theory is that the mutation only affects specific brain regions that happen to be responsible a stable communication between language and motor areas. Subtle damage to these regions leads to an unstable, low capacity speech system.