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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

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July 2013
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New test looks at emotion recognition without words

by  /  31 July 2013

A clever new test assesses whether someone with autism can recognize emotions from facial expressions without needing to name them. The test was described in the 26 June issue of Frontiers in Psychology.

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Folding mat reveals motor deficits in severe autism

by  /  24 July 2013

Using a portable mat embedded with pressure sensors, researchers have shown that adults with severe autism walk more slowly than controls do. The results were published 20 May in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience.

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Fluorescent proteins shine new light on cells

by  /  17 July 2013

Researchers have found a new way to light up proteins in living cells, revealing the connections between neurons, according to a study published 19 June in Neuron.

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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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