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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Spotted around the web: Motor skills, mosaic mutations, emergency preparedness

by  /  30 September 2022

September 26th

Research roundup  

  • Autism-linked variants of the gene MYT1L in mice give rise to neuronal changes and autism-like behaviors that ebb and flow over the animals’ lifespan. Cell Reports 
  • Autistic children who have siblings with emotional or behavioral conditions tend to have more hyperactivity and irritability than those who have siblings without those issues, according to an analysis of teacher and parent reports. Journal of Clinical Medicine 
  • Recognizing motor impairments as a “specifier” may aid early autism diagnosis and affect traits in other domains, such as language skills. Spectrum reported on how motor-skills interventions can benefit clinical care earlier this year. Autism Research 
  • A new method called SCAN2 enables more accurate whole-genome sequencing from single cells and shows that as neurons age, they collect a patchwork of mutations. Spectrum has reported on mosaic mutations, in which a person’s cells contain different gene variants. Nature Genetics 
  • Autistic preschoolers from low-resource households tend to have weaker language and communication skills than those from high-resource households. Frontiers in Psychology 
  • Autistic adults take more time than non-autistic adults to logically order a mixed-up series of events that involve social behaviors and conventions. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 
  • The balance between excitatory and inhibitory neuronal activity cycles throughout the day and is altered in mouse models of autism. bioRxiv 
  • Policies to support people with autism or intellectual disability vary amongst three countries’ criminal justice systems. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law

    An abstract representation of a brain formed from multi-colored Legos.

    Mature mosaic: Improved whole-genome sequencing from single cells shows that neurons collect mutations as they age.

    Dávid Biró

  • An international team of researchers has proposed a nomenclature for various multicellular models of the human nervous system, such as organoids, assembloids and transplants. Nature 
  • A well-defined visual task in mice — which are sensitive to autism-linked gene mutations — may provide a good model for single-cell recording and understanding atypical neuronal circuitry. bioRxiv 

Science and society 

  • The September 26th Project, spearheaded by the U.S.-based National Council on Severe Autism, provides information about emergency preparedness for families with autistic members. 
  • The BRAIN Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, intends to fund research to create a reference atlas of cell types in the human brain across the lifespan. National Institute of Mental Health 
  • The U.S. National Institutes of Health has announced $100 million of funding to its Autism Centers of Excellence over the next five years. Disability Scoop 
  • The International Society for Autism Research has launched a podcast series of interviews with study authors discussing their work. 
  • Black researchers have created strategies for affixing electroencephalogram contacts to people with Black hairstyles such as braids or weaves. Science VS  

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TAGS:   autism