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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

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January 2021
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Method may improve safety of gene therapies targeting the brain

by  /  28 January 2021

A new approach for delivering gene therapy to the brain reduces nerve damage in primates and could help make gene therapies for conditions related to autism safer.

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In cortical-striatal assembloids, striatal neurons (magenta) derived from individuals with Phelan-McDermid syndrome fire more frequently than neurons from controls.
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Brain ‘assembloids’ capture circuit flaws in syndrome tied to autism

by  /  21 January 2021

Merging 3D clusters of neurons that mimic different brain regions models the atypical electrical activity seen in an autism-related condition.

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human and mouse cells.
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Atlas pair profiles fetal gene expression, regulation in single cells

by  /  7 January 2021

A pair of new atlases that profile millions of cells across 15 organs offer an unparalleled look at gene activity during fetal development.

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December 2020
Brain organoid with multiple stains; red and green, to indicate cells.
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New method probes genes’ function in brain organoids

by  /  16 December 2020

A screening technique tests how inactivated genes affect spheres of cultured brain cells; it could shed light on autism-linked mutations.

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Global map of 17,800 human proteins.
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Proteome map identifies more than 90 percent of all human proteins

by  /  9 December 2020

Researchers expand on the already enormous progress made on the Human Proteome Project

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stock image shows a color coded DNA sequence
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Catalog details sex differences in gene expression, regulation

by  /  2 December 2020

Researchers expand a massive repository of data on gene activity in people to show differences between males and females.

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November 2020
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Test gauges autistic children’s verbal abilities in natural settings

by  /  18 November 2020

An interactive assessment allows clinicians and researchers to evaluate an autistic child’s use of language in everyday social situations.

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A child with a young adult giving a test based on play.
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Test measures autistic children’s language ability across wide age, skill range

by  /  4 November 2020

A new test can measure the language skills of autistic children of any verbal ability, at almost any age.

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October 2020
Gut neurons and glia (red, green) are fragile and interwoven with other cells (blue) in the colon, making them tricky to isolate.
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Cell maps reveal diversity of neurons in gut

by  /  21 October 2020

An atlas that details gene expression in neurons and other cells from the intestines of mice and people may help to elucidate the link between gut problems and autism.

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Parent reads to her child at night in a makeshift text with cozy lights.
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Virtual lab visits enable remote assessments of child development

by  /  7 October 2020

A new telehealth test offers researchers a way to detect signs of atypical behavior from afar and could help more families participate in autism studies and clinical trials.

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