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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

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October 2014
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New resource catalogs impact of DNA variants on brain

by  /  22 October 2014

A new online database called Braineac details how variations in DNA sequence shape gene expression in the human brain.

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Paired genetic analysis may pare down list of autism genes

by  /  15 October 2014

Combining analysis of large deletions or duplications in the genome with sequences from protein-coding regions can identify new syndromes, as well as the mutations that cause those disorders, according to a report published 14 September in Nature Genetics.

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Database details neural gene interactions in developing mice

by  /  8 October 2014

A new online resource called MouseID Genes stores information about gene interactions in the developing mouse brain and spinal cord.

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Gene-editing tool can erase proteins at neuronal junctions

by  /  1 October 2014

CRISPR, the genetic tool that cuts and pastes DNA, can eliminate specific proteins at the points of connection between neurons. The method, described 3 September in Neuron, could help researchers determine the role of those proteins in brain signaling.

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September 2014
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Method reveals thin insulation on neurons in autism brains

by  /  24 September 2014

A method for measuring myelin, the protective sheath around neurons, indicates that there is less of it in the brains of people with autism than in those of controls.

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Combo of collagen, silk scaffold nurtures brain-like tissue

by  /  17 September 2014

Bioengineers have built a donut-shaped scaffold that supports the growth of brain-like tissue, they reported 11 August.

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New algorithm detects DNA insertions and deletions

by  /  10 September 2014

A new algorithm accurately detects large DNA insertions and deletions in the protein-coding regions of the genome.

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Method organizes mitochondrial DNA sequences

by  /  3 September 2014

Researchers have put together a set of strategies and computer programs to identify mutations in mitochondrial DNA that contribute to disorders such as autism.

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August 2014
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Method reveals relationship between white, gray matter

by  /  27 August 2014

A new technique helps researchers trace the nerve fibers that connect brain regions by revealing how the fibers physically relate to curves and folds on the brain’s surface. The method was described 8 July in Medical Image Analysis.

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Test measures children’s ability to distinguish between faces

by  /  20 August 2014

An adaptation of a test for facial recognition makes it easier to chart children’s ability to remember faces.

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