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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

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July 2013
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Genetics algorithm reveals mosaic mutations

by  /  10 July 2013

A new software tool detects chromosomal alterations present in only a subset of cells in the body. This method, described 31 May in BMC Genomics, may help reveal mosaicism’s contribution to neurological disorders.

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Researchers hone efficiency of making neurons from blood

by  /  3 July 2013

A new technique to transform human stem cells into neurons is faster, more efficient and more reliable than existing methods, according to a study published 5 June in Neuron.

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June 2013
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Analysis probes literature for autism-linked gene culprits

by  /  26 June 2013

By combining bioinformatics techniques with an analysis of gene expression, researchers have identified 30 candidate genes for autism, according to a study published 28 May in Translational Psychiatry.

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Chromosome test reveals genetic causes of autism

by  /  19 June 2013

Screening the genome for small chromosomal abnormalities may identify potential genetic causes of autism or intellectual disability in 16 percent of children tested, according to a study published 24 May in the European Journal of Paediatric Neurology.

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Virtual public speaking assesses social attention in autism

by  /  12 June 2013

To study attention in people with autism during complex social situations, researchers have developed a virtual reality version of public speaking, according to a study published 20 May in Autism Research.

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Rare, common variants together boost gene analysis

by  /  5 June 2013

A new statistical method for linking genes to a disorder analyzes both rare and common variants of a gene at the same time, according to a study published 14 May in the American Journal of Human Genetics. This makes it possible to confirm associations that other techniques might overlook.

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May 2013
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Protein probe may diagnose fragile X syndrome

by  /  29 May 2013

Quick tests that detect the protein missing in fragile X syndrome can be used to screen newborns for the disorder and find treatments, according to two studies published in the past two months.

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Video: Microscopy technique reveals whole fish brain

by  /  22 May 2013

A new microscopy technique, published in the May issue of Nature Methods, can show the activity of more than 80 percent of the brain’s neurons at one time.

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New chromosome labels highlight DNA inversions

by  /  15 May 2013

A new technique can help researchers spot segments of DNA that have flipped their direction by 180 degrees, according to a study published in the April issue of Chromosome Research. 

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Researchers watch as proteins travel to neuronal junctions

by  /  8 May 2013

Using high-resolution microscopy, researchers can watch as signaling complexes assemble at neuronal junctions in zebrafish embryos, according to a study published 17 April in Cell Reports.

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