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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

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April 2021
Colorful RNA in mouse brain slice

Tissue-swelling method divulges RNA locations, sequences in cells

by  /  28 April 2021

A technique that expands tissue before spotting and sequencing RNA — the molecular messenger for DNA — enables researchers to see where particular genes are expressed in cells.

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single celled zygote seen as a colorful cluster of dots, next to a four cell embryo, visualized in the same way.

Intact-cell sequencing lays bare new view of genome structure

by  /  22 April 2021

The technique enables researchers to sequence the DNA of an intact cell, providing a unique view of the genome’s organization inside the nucleus.

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By imaging spheroids in 3D, researchers can see structures called rosettes, in which immature brain cells (green) surround a cavity (pink), of a variety of shapes and sizes.

Airy beams capture 3D structures inside spheroids

by  /  8 April 2021

An imaging approach that captures spheres of brain cells in three dimensions could illuminate processes in early brain development.

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Atlas maps distinct cell types during earliest stages of brain development

by  /  1 April 2021

A new atlas profiles gene activity early on during development in the human fetal brain.

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March 2021
Genetic sequencing on computer screen in lab setting.

Online library details traits linked to genetic conditions

by  /  31 March 2021

An expanding collection of websites compiles up-to-date information on the characteristics of people with mutations in genes linked to autism and other conditions.

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Geometric figures in soft palette shows family group following a navigator or guide figure

Family navigation helps reduce disparities in autism diagnosis

by  /  22 March 2021

Training community members to help families access care increases the likelihood that children from low-income and minority groups will obtain diagnostic evaluations.

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Collage illustration: Modern white lab mice look across an abyss to a cohort of historical illustrations of animals.

New statistical method may spare lab animals

by  /  18 March 2021

An online tool could help researchers limit the number of animals needed to power their studies.

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mouse brain neurons highlighted pink and green.

New technique tunes in to molecular chatter in neurons

by  /  11 March 2021

Researchers have devised a way to use fluorescent sensors to detect many different signaling molecules in a cell at once.

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A lone Rhesus macaque looks into the camera

New macaque reference genome fills sequence gaps

by  /  4 March 2021

Researchers have created the most complete macaque reference genome to date and used it to catalog genetic variation among hundreds of monkeys.

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February 2021
Child with clinician, making eye contact

Algorithm ‘sees’ when people’s eyes meet

by  /  25 February 2021

A new machine-learning tool detects eye contact during recorded face-to-face interactions as accurately as expert observers can.

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