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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
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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Mini-brains made from stem cells contain several types of cells found in developing human brains.

Simple recipe dishes up realistic ‘mini-brains’

by  /  3 November 2017

A simple method for growing spheres of brain cells yields more realistic replicas of the brain than traditional techniques do.

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