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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

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June 2013

Rare, common variants together boost gene analysis

by  /  5 June 2013

A new statistical method for linking genes to a disorder analyzes both rare and common variants of a gene at the same time, according to a study published 14 May in the American Journal of Human Genetics. This makes it possible to confirm associations that other techniques might overlook.

May 2013

Protein probe may diagnose fragile X syndrome

by  /  29 May 2013

Quick tests that detect the protein missing in fragile X syndrome can be used to screen newborns for the disorder and find treatments, according to two studies published in the past two months.


Video: Microscopy technique reveals whole fish brain

by  /  22 May 2013

A new microscopy technique, published in the May issue of Nature Methods, can show the activity of more than 80 percent of the brain’s neurons at one time.


New chromosome labels highlight DNA inversions

by  /  15 May 2013

A new technique can help researchers spot segments of DNA that have flipped their direction by 180 degrees, according to a study published in the April issue of Chromosome Research. 


Researchers watch as proteins travel to neuronal junctions

by  /  8 May 2013

Using high-resolution microscopy, researchers can watch as signaling complexes assemble at neuronal junctions in zebrafish embryos, according to a study published 17 April in Cell Reports.


Light toggles function of signaling proteins

by  /  1 May 2013

Researchers can use light to activate certain proteins that receive signals at the junctions between neurons and that are key targets for fragile X syndrome therapies, according to a study published in the April issue of Nature Neuroscience.

April 2013

Miniature brain bulbs manipulate neurons

by  /  24 April 2013

A light-emitting device implanted in a mouse brain can activate neurons wirelessly, allowing researchers to control and observe the mouse’s behavior, according to a report published 12 April in Science.


New algorithm plots genes’ relationships

by  /  17 April 2013

A new software algorithm called GAP measures the similarities in the function of more than 19,000 human protein-coding genes, according to a study published 14 March in BMC Systems Biology.


Video game device detects repetitive behavior

by  /  10 April 2013

Researchers have adapted a motion-sensing video game controller to detect repetitive movements that are characteristic of autism, according to a preliminary study published in the 2012 Conference Proceedings – IEEE Engineering Medical Biological Society.


Mice sniff out social deficits in their own kind

by  /  3 April 2013

To define appropriate social behavior for mice, which are often used as laboratory models of human social disorders, it may be best to ask the mice. This is the basis of a new assay for mouse social deficits, published 21 February in Autism Research.


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