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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

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February 2012
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Researchers chart 3D structure of fruit fly chromosomes

by  /  15 February 2012

A new study reveals the three-dimensional structure of fruit fly chromosomes, which groups together active and inactive genes. The results were published 3 February in Cell.

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Microscope reveals nanoscale detail in live mouse brains

by  /  8 February 2012

A new microscope allows researchers to capture the movement of tiny signal-receiving branches in the brains of adult mice at the nanoscale level. The results were published 3 February in Science.

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New machine takes rapid, reliable pictures of brains

by  /  1 February 2012

An automated instrument can reconstruct fluorescently labeled mouse brains in less than a day, researchers reported 15 January in Nature Methods.

January 2012
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New technique charts patterns of microRNA expression

by  /  25 January 2012

Researchers have mapped the levels of tiny RNA fragments that regulate gene expression in specific brain regions and subtypes of neurons. The results were published 12 January in Neuron.  

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New resource compiles data on autism-linked genes

by  /  18 January 2012

A new online database provides searchable information for nearly 10,000 genes, variants and chromosomal regions linked to autism. Researchers describe the resource, dubbed AutismKB, in the January issue of Nucleic Acids Research.

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Video technique measures monkeys’ social interest

by  /  11 January 2012

Male rhesus macaques show more interest in videos with social content, such as another monkey displaying aggression, than in videos of landscapes or other animals, according to a study published 26 October in PLoS One.

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Brain atlas maps gene expression across development

by  /  4 January 2012

Researchers have charted the expression of more than 15,000 brain genes across 15 stages of development, spanning from 4 weeks post-conception to more than 60 years of age, they reported 27 October in Nature.

December 2011
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Quick test for fragile X may be ideal for developing nations

by  /  21 December 2011

Dried spots of blood taken from infants at birth can help clinicians screen for fragile X syndrome in countries with limited resources, according to a study published 11 October in Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers.

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Eye-tracking device travels with toddlers

by  /  14 December 2011

Researchers have designed a light, mobile and wireless device that allows them to track infants’ gaze as they explore their environment, according to a study published in November in Child Development.

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New system screens for drugs that alter neuronal junctions

by  /  7 December 2011

A new technique efficiently screens for compounds that enhance or inhibit the formation of synapses, the junctions between neurons, according to a study published 25 October in Nature Communications.


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