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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

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October 2020
Parent reads to her child at night in a makeshift text with cozy lights.
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Virtual lab visits enable remote assessments of child development

by  /  7 October 2020

A new telehealth test offers researchers a way to detect signs of atypical behavior from afar and could help more families participate in autism studies and clinical trials.

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September 2020
Neurons in a macaque cortex express parvalbumin in red.
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Virus-based method manipulates inhibitory neurons in brains

by  /  9 September 2020

A new viral tool can selectively control different types of neurons that dampen brain activity in rodents, monkeys and people.

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Zebrafish embryos with various deformities.
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CRISPR technique knocks down gene expression in animal embryos

by  /  2 September 2020

A new method that suppresses gene expression in the embryos of fish and mice may help researchers study autism genes in early development.

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August 2020
Proteins binding to RNA, illustration.
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Massive encyclopedia catalogs genome’s regulatory regions

by  /  26 August 2020

The most comprehensive catalog to date of DNA regions that modify gene expression is helping researchers uncover the role these segments play in autism.

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New measures of social skills tap what monkeys see, do

by  /  14 August 2020

A pair of tools that gauge social abilities in rhesus macaques may help researchers study autism-like behaviors in monkeys.

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Mouse brain images show proteins in mouse brains at different ages.
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New ‘synaptome’ maps neuronal connections in mouse brain across lifespan

by  /  5 August 2020

A new atlas lays bare how synapses, or the junctions between neurons, change from birth to old age in mice.

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July 2020
grid of six brain slices in different staining methods.
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Software maps neurons to reference brain atlas

by  /  29 July 2020

A computer program aligns mouse brain images with a reference brain atlas, helping researchers analyze neurons and their connections in a standardized way.

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Mouse with optpgenetic device in its head
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Wireless optogenetics device reveals new role for ‘cuddle hormone’

by  /  15 July 2020

A new wireless device switches oxytocin-producing neurons on and off in mice as they interact, showing the hormone’s effects depend on social context.

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DNA helix with mutation or deletion
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Scores forecast effects of mutations in autism gene

by  /  8 July 2020

A new analysis links individual mutations in a gene called PTEN to a person’s odds of having autism, cancer or other conditions.

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June 2020
A genome data set shows colorful clusters by ancestry
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Massive genomic database helps decode mutations’ effects

by  /  24 June 2020

A trove of DNA sequences from 141,456 people — and counting — offers an unparalleled look at genetic variation.

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