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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

Previous articles
January 2014

New assay tracks active neurons in clews of worms

by  /  15 January 2014

Researchers have developed a system that allows them to record the activity of neurons from as many as 20 worm embryos at once, they reported 5 November in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Catalog of symptoms aims to unravel autism diversity

by  /  8 January 2014

Researchers have standardized labels for nearly 300 traits of autism drawn from 24 diagnostic tests for the disorder, they reported 27 October in Neuroinformatics. They can use these terms to search for certain traits among large catalogs of the genetics and symptoms of people with autism.

December 2013

Map of cerebellum highlights diversity in autism mice

by  /  18 December 2013

By creating an atlas of 39 different areas in the mouse cerebellum, researchers have highlighted differences in this region in three mouse models of autism, they reported 22 October in Autism Research.


Sharp microscope captures growing embryos, changing brains

by  /  11 December 2013

Researchers have developed a new way to perform high-resolution microscopy in a moving, changing organism, they reported in November in Nature Biotechnology. They used the method to follow the development of a live embryo and its brain.


Child-sized brain imaging device improves data collection

by  /  4 December 2013

A small, customized magnetoencephalography device records signals in children’s brains better than the typical adult-sized machine does, reports a study published 8 October in Molecular Autism.

November 2013

Neurons made directly from skin cells model autism mutations

by  /  27 November 2013

Skin cells taken from mice with an autism-linked mutation and transformed directly into neurons have the same properties as neurons from the brains of these mice. The study, published 8 October in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, validates an efficient technique to study disease-linked mutations.


Miniature cable reads a mouse’s sense of reward

by  /  20 November 2013

A tiny fiber-optic probe inserted into the reward center of the mouse brain monitors how the mouse feels about meeting a peer — or a golf ball. The unpublished technique was presented last week at the 2013 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.


Neurons made from teeth may aid autism research

by  /  13 November 2013

Cells extracted from baby teeth, which fall out on their own, may be better suited than skin cells for making induced neurons to use in autism research, suggests a study published 3 October in PLoS One.


Medical record mining helps clarify complex diseases

by  /  6 November 2013

Researchers have mined the medical records of more than 100 million people and found close to 3,000 associations between single-gene diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, and complex genetic disorders such as autism. The results were published 26 September in Cell.

October 2013

Spinning system turns stem cells into mini-brains

by  /  30 October 2013

Researchers have coaxed human stem cells to develop into simplified mini-brains, with regions resembling discrete brain structures, they reported 19 September in Nature.


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