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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

Previous articles
January 2018
Protein levels in the brain from birth to about 40 years vary more (blue) or less (red) by brain region but are similar across the lifespan.

Tool tracks brain proteins from infancy to adulthood

by  /  19 January 2018

A new inventory of proteins reveals their levels in seven brain regions from infancy through adulthood.

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A single neuron glows green after light stimulates it, whereas its neighbors (magenta) remain inactive.

Protein duet activates single neurons with light

by  /  12 January 2018

A new technique enables scientists to use a pulse of light to control the activity of a single neuron.

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doctor with patient

New measure yields rapid diagnosis in adults with autism

by  /  5 January 2018

An abbreviated tool enables clinicians to quickly assess adults for signs of autism.

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December 2017
a neuron-recording device

Device detects activity over major portion of monkey brain

by  /  22 December 2017

A large array of electrodes can record the activity of neurons across a wide swath of the monkey brain.

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eight brains with various sections highlighted

Tool taps personal interests to understand self-control

by  /  15 December 2017

A novel take on a widely used test could help clinicians assess impulsivity in people with autism.

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A new enzyme fusion can swap out single base pairs — the rungs in DNA’s ladder-like helix.

Pair of new tools corrects ‘typos’ in genetic sequences

by  /  8 December 2017

Two new methods allow scientists to swap single bases in DNA or RNA sequences.

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six brain slices with birdseye view of brains

Automated method maps neuronal connections specific to autism

by  /  1 December 2017

A software package identifies bundles of nerve fibers in brain-imaging data, revealing connections unique to people with autism.

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November 2017
Neurons in a mouse brain glow green after a virus carrying specialized molecular tools edits their genomes.

Viral sidekick allows CRISPR to reliably edit neuron DNA

by  /  24 November 2017

A new trick involving a virus gives the CRISPR enzyme system the ability to edit the genome of a neuron more predictably than was previously possible.

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Neurons (green) generated from a human stem-cell line carry one of six mutations associated with schizophrenia, autism or intellectual disability.

New technique ramps up editing of genes in stem cells

by  /  17 November 2017

A novel method allows researchers to rapidly generate stem-cell colonies with mutations linked to autism or other conditions.

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High-frequency sound waves reveal changes in blood flow that correspond to seizure activity.

Tool taps sound waves to trace seizure activity in newborns

by  /  9 November 2017

A new ultrasound device provides high-resolution movies of blood flow through the brains of infants.

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