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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

‘Light beads’ method images activity across the mouse brain

by  /  12 October 2021

The new technique can record hundreds of thousands of neurons firing nearly simultaneously across big swaths of brain tissue in living mice.

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October 2021
Annimation of eye tracking application following the pupil in a man's eye.
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Web app tracks pupil size in people, mice

by  /  8 October 2021

The app relies on artificial intelligence and could help researchers standardize studies of pupil differences in autistic people and in mouse models of autism.

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September 2021
Cells in the cerebral cortex.
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Atlas maps gene activity, accessibility in developing brain

by  /  30 September 2021

A new resource profiles gene expression and the accessibility of DNA in single cells across the developing human cerebral cortex and may help scientists decipher the effects of noncoding mutations linked to autism.

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Person with documents and a green pen.
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New screen assesses suicidality in autistic adults

by  /  22 September 2021

A short questionnaire created in consultation with autistic people is the first of its kind to accurately gauge suicidal thoughts and behaviors among adults on the spectrum.

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New method uses virus-like protein to package, deliver RNA

by  /  9 September 2021

A novel gene delivery system taps a protein found in people to encapsulate messenger RNA and transport it into cells.

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August 2021
Markov cluster showing protein interactions in mice.
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Protein atlas doubles number of known interactions in mice

by  /  26 August 2021

Thousands of protein-protein interactions mapped in mice reveal how these networks shift across seven kinds of tissue.

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Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of bacteria cultured from a sample of human faeces.
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New library catalogs the human gut microbiome

by  /  25 August 2021

Researchers put hundreds of gut bacteria strains through their paces to chart the compounds each creates — and to help others explore the flora’s potential contribution to autism.

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July 2021
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New tool maps cell types in lab-grown blobs of brain tissue

by  /  29 July 2021

The software compares gene expression in cells derived from organoids with a reference atlas of the developing mouse brain.

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image shows slice of a mouse brain with genes highlighted
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Method tracks neuron paths, gene expression simultaneously

by  /  21 July 2021

A new technique can reveal where thousands of neurons send their axons — and measure the cells’ RNA levels for dozens of genes at the same time — in the mouse brain. It could be used to profile neural circuits underlying autism.

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New optogenetics technique minimizes thermal damage to neurons

by  /  8 July 2021

Thanks to a new engineered protein for optogenetics experiments, researchers can stimulate neurons with less light than usual and avoid damaging brain tissue.

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June 2021
wireless optogenetic device glowing green on mouse brain.
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Wireless optogenetic devices sync neurons among mice

by  /  17 June 2021

Researchers say they can synchronize two new devices and control neurons across 256 freely moving animals at once to study social behaviors.

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