For parents like me overcome with trepidation at the thought of our kids reaching puberty, here is a piece of news that might bring understanding, if not exactly comfort. American scientists say they have discovered the puberty gene. It's called GPR54 and it causes the sudden hormonal tidal waves that make teenagers stroppy, spotty and, unfortunately, sexually mature. Yes, that's right - a single gene is responsible for causing all that havoc that makes teens a nuisance and danger to themselves and others. If it is switched off or should it mutate, the child will remain Peter Pan for the rest of his or her life, forever denied adulthood, according to Stephanie Seminara and her colleagues at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in the latest issue of New England Journal of Medicine. The rare disorder even has a name, and it's a mouthful: idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH). Actually, I think IHH sounds a bit like paradise and it's adolescence that's the problem. In the age of genetic engineering, I am all for a bit of gene-tinkering. What stressed-out parents really need is some sort of moderated IHH that their kids could eventually grow out of while staying cute and cuddly.