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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

Previous articles
September 2017
After months in culture, stem cells (left) develop into mature brain cells, including star-shaped astrocytes (right).

Lab-grown spheres yield star-shaped brain cells

by  /  22 September 2017

A new technique allows researchers to generate brain cells called astrocytes and maintain them in culture as they mature.


Method that maps DNA tags reveals new types of neurons

by  /  15 September 2017

A new technique classifies neurons by surveying chemical tags that turn genes on or off on the neurons’ DNA.

Individual differences in brain structure parallel variations in brain activation when people move their tongue or feet.

Lengthy scans yield detailed maps of individual brains

by  /  8 September 2017

A new database contains high-fidelity brain maps of 10 typical adults.

Image of brains showing The crests of the brain’s outer shell are more curved in people with autism (top) than in controls (bottom)

Computer tool maps ridges on brain’s bumpy surface

by  /  1 September 2017

New software charts the crests of the folds that define the brain’s surface in people with autism.

August 2017
A family holding hands and walking down the sidewalk.

Whole genomes may power search for autism risk factors

by  /  23 August 2017

Scientists this week announced the release of nearly 7,000 whole-genome sequences from a collection of families that each have one child with autism.

Spheres that mimic the blood-brain barrier are wrapped in endothelial cells (green), which line blood vessels in the brain.

Spheres of cells reveal which drugs can enter brains

by  /  18 August 2017

Microscopic balls of brain and blood vessel cells mimic the barrier that protects the brain from foreign invaders.

luorescent probes mark the expression patterns of three genes in a transparent fruit fly brain.

Method lights up active genes in fruit fly brains

by  /  11 August 2017

A new technique illustrates how mutations associated with autism affect gene expression at different stages of development in the fly brain.


Innovative tool allows for virtual experiments on mouse brain

by  /  4 August 2017

New software transforms mouse brain scans into a virtual brain that scientists can manipulate.

July 2017

New method rates strength of ties between genes, conditions

by  /  28 July 2017

A new method can help researchers and clinicians gauge the likelihood that a gene is associated with a particular condition.


Like children, marmosets learn to ‘talk’ by listening

by  /  21 July 2017

Baby marmosets learn to vocalize by mimicking their parents, which helps to establish their utility for studying autism.


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