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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

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May 2011
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Informatics links mouse mutations to autism

by  /  4 May 2011

Researchers can use bioinformatics tools to identify existing mutant mice that can model features of autism, according to a study published 21 March in the Journal of Biomedical Informatics.

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April 2011
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Brain circuit map identifies local networks

by  /  27 April 2011

Neurons that respond to the same stimuli are grouped into sub-networks that can quickly communicate with each other, according to a study published 10 April in Nature.

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Researchers make neurons from people with schizophrenia

by  /  20 April 2011

Researchers have taken skin cells from individuals with schizophrenia, bathed them in chemical cocktails and coaxed them to develop into neurons, according to a paper published 13 April in Nature.

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Cell’s own machinery can deliver therapies to the brain

by  /  13 April 2011

Exosomes, the brain’s system for delivering and recycling molecules, can be manipulated to carry therapeutic fragments of RNA or DNA across the blood-brain barrier and into neurons. The ingenious new technique was published 20 March in Nature Biotechnology.

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March 2011
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Researchers trace wiring in the brain

by  /  30 March 2011

Researchers have mapped the architecture of a brain circuit active during vision in the cerebral cortex — a region involved in memory and planning — they reported 10 March in Nature.

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Scientists zap anxiety circuit in mice

by  /  23 March 2011

By shining a beam of light on a single brain circuit, researchers can compel mice to overcome their natural fears and boldly explore a new space, according to a study published 9 March in Nature.

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Postmortem brains hold sequencing potential

by  /  16 March 2011

Researchers have extracted and sequenced DNA from 52 postmortem brains from the Autism Tissue Program, providing a resource to study mutations and gene expression differences in the brains of people with the disorder.

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New technique creates map of synapses

by  /  9 March 2011

A new technique can pinpoint the precise location of individual proteins at a synapse — the junction between neurons — at high resolution in brain tissue, according to a study published 9 December in Neuron.

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Researchers catalog crucial complex in neurons

by  /  2 March 2011

Researchers have identified nearly 1,500 proteins present in the postsynaptic density — a complex collection of proteins that enables quick and flexible signaling across the brain. The results were published 14 January in Nature Neuroscience.

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February 2011
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Database organizes multiple mouse models

by  /  23 February 2011

A genetic database of autism genes, called Autism Database, or AutDB, details curated information for more than 200 mouse models of autism, according to a report in the January BMC Genomics.

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