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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

February 2023
Research image of cell bodies of rett-like neurons, some of which were treated with epigenome editors.

Epigenome edits unmute MECP2 in Rett-like neurons

by  /  16 February 2023

The approach removes methyl tags from the gene and shields it from other silencing factors without changing the gene itself, raising hopes for a new treatment.

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Headshot of Wendy Chung.

Simons Foundation clinical research head Wendy Chung to lead Boston Children’s pediatrics department

by  /  14 February 2023

Chung, a clinical and molecular geneticist, plans to continue serving as principal investigator of two large research projects involving cohorts of people with autism and related neurodevelopmental conditions.

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Research image shows elevated expression of certain genes, shown in pink and green, along with expected gene expression, shown in blue.

Autism-linked MYT1L mutations prompt ‘identity crisis’ in budding brain cells

by  /  14 February 2023

Both human and mouse progenitor cells with the alterations struggle to become neurons and instead express genes that are typically active only in muscle or the heart.

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Many mouths making conversation, with speech bubbles in red and blue.

Community Newsletter: Neuroimaging assumptions; brain wave resonance; dietary treatment

by  /  12 February 2023

This week’s newsletter considers tweets about the assumptions baked into brain-imaging studies; the reach of brain waves; and a diet-based intervention for a rare autism-linked condition.

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A young girl sits on the couch biting her thumb.

Children with autism and ADHD often have additional mental health conditions

by  /  10 February 2023

The dual diagnosis frequently co-occurs with anxiety, depression and developmental and language delays.

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Picture of a caged mouse with an EEG implanted.

Adult Angelman mice get some benefit from boosting UBE3A gene expression

by  /  9 February 2023

The treatment eases the animals’ sleep troubles, suggesting it has clinically meaningful effects beyond what was thought to be a critical window in early life.

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Research image of the protein CHD2.

Autism-linked chromatin regulators may moonlight as microtubule influencers

by  /  8 February 2023

Five autism-linked genes widely known as chromatin regulators appear to also shape the cell’s internal skeleton.

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Illustration of neurons.

Chromatin remodeling tied to altered splicing in autism model

by  /  7 February 2023

Exposing neurons to valproic acid, a well-known environmental risk factor for autism, disrupts their ability to generate different proteins from the same gene.

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Fishing for protein partners nets clues to autism

by  /  6 February 2023

Connections between 13 autism-linked proteins and their binding partners in excitatory neurons implicate a new molecular pathway.

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Illustration shows a road going into the distance, seen from the driver's point of view.

Spectrum Launch: What the earliest early-career researchers contribute to the autism field

by  /  6 February 2023

High school interns don’t just gain new skills — they also form a pipeline of future scientists.

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