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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

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July 2011
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Implant can target treatments to neurons

by  /  20 July 2011

An ingenious new technique may allow small brain implants to release chemicals when and where they are needed, according to a study published 2 June in the Journal of Neural Engineering.

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Computer algorithm boosts power of sequencing studies

by  /  13 July 2011

A new computer algorithm has identified the gene responsible for a newly discovered human disease, researchers report this week in The American Journal of Human Genetics. Unlike traditional methods, the algorithm takes into account both the odds of a particular genetic variant being associated with the disorder and the variant’s effect on protein function.

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Magnet reveals differences in Asperger syndrome brains

by  /  6 July 2011

A powerful magnet that alters brain activity has shown that a brain region responsible for language may function differently in adults with Asperger syndrome than in controls, according to a study published in the July issue of the European Journal of Neuroscience.

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June 2011
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Researchers make neurons directly from skin cells

by  /  29 June 2011

Human skin cells can be converted directly into functional neurons, bypassing a reprogramming step that is part of the typical procedure, according to a study published 26 May in Nature.

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Interactive virtual reality system teaches social skills

by  /  22 June 2011

A virtual reality system equipped with an eye-tracking device helps teenagers with autism learn to engage with others, according to a study published 23 May.

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Database reveals lineage of laboratory mouse strains

by  /  15 June 2011

A new online database that compiles genomic sequence information for 162 mouse strains shows that classical laboratory strains have limited genetic diversity, according to a report published 29 May in Nature Genetics.

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Video monitoring could identify autism behaviors

by  /  8 June 2011

Video surveillance combined with computer algorithms could provide an objective method to monitor the success of autism interventions, according to a study published 3 May in the Journal of Medical Systems.

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Complex mathematics simplifies brain imaging

by  /  1 June 2011

A complex mathematical technique can improve the sensitivity of experiments that rely on brain imaging, allowing researchers to study how the brain responds to sequences of stimuli, according to a study published in the June issue of NeuroImage.

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May 2011
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New tool links gene to function in zebrafish

by  /  25 May 2011

Researchers have devised a way to inactivate genes in zebrafish embryos, creating a collection of hundreds of mutant fish lines in which gene function can be explored. The technique was published online 8 May in Nature Methods.

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Imaging tool maps regions within amygdala

by  /  18 May 2011

A new method can distinguish between sub-regions of the amygdala, the deep nub of tissue that is involved in emotion processing and that shows abnormal activity in people with autism, according to a study published in the June issue of NeuroImage.

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