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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

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February 2013
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Researchers remove placenta from pregnant mice

by  /  20 February 2013

Researchers have developed a technique that allows them to remove a functioning placenta from a pregnant mouse late in gestation, they reported 8 January in Nature Protocols.

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Researchers carve out map of rodent brain

by  /  13 February 2013

Researchers have divided the rat brain into 26 structures that are present from birth to adulthood and that can be seen using brain imaging, according to a study published 15 February in Neuroimage.

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Robots could fill in for autism therapists

by  /  6 February 2013

Robots may be able to help treat children with autism when qualified therapists aren’t available, according to a study published 3 December in IEEE Translational Neural Systems Rehabilitation Engingeering.

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January 2013
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Imaging database catalogs brain connectivity

by  /  30 January 2013

Researchers can share and compare brain-imaging data on the UCLA Multimodal Connectivity Database, described in the 28 November Frontiers in Neuroinformatics. The resource builds connectivity matrices, which estimate the strength of connections between regions of the brain.

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Mouse stem cells enable study of Rett syndrome

by  /  23 January 2013

Researchers have made neurons from the skin cells of mice that model Rett syndrome, according to a study published in the December issue Molecular Psychiatry.

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Fluorescent fish help track mitochondrial motion

by  /  16 January 2013

Fish engineered to express fluorescent proteins allow researchers to follow the paths of migrating mitochondria, the cell’s energy producers, according to a study published 14 November in The Journal of Neuroscience.

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Newer mutations more likely to lead to disorders

by  /  9 January 2013

Of the thousands of DNA variants linked to autism, those that evolved later are the most likely to be harmful, according to a study published 28 November in Nature.

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Conversation with avatar teaches social skills

by  /  2 January 2013

In a virtual reality game intended to improve social skills in teenagers with autism, the players must ask computer avatars the right questions while seeming engaged in the conversation. The game was described 27 September in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering.

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December 2012
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Network tool highlights links between genes and disorders

by  /  19 December 2012

Autworks, a new online tool, has data on almost 20,000 human genes linked to nearly 3,000 disorders. The tool, published 28 November in BMC Medical Genomics, creates gene-network maps for each disorder and highlights the overlap between them.

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Precocious piglets may model neurological disorders

by  /  12 December 2012

The brains of newborn pigs are similar in shape and mature at the same rate as those of human infants. That makes piglets a good model for studying neurological disorders, according to a study published in the November issue of The Journal of Nutrition.

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