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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Video: A landscape view of DNA modifications

by  /  14 November 2011

This article is more than five years old. Autism research — and science in general — is constantly evolving, so older articles may contain information or theories that have been reevaluated since their original publication date.

Just when we were wrapping our minds around the genome, along came the transcriptome, the proteome, the connectome and several other ‘–omes’ that became the focus of intense scientific investigation.

Earlier this year, Janine LaSalle led the first comprehensive analysis of the methylome, the genome-wide pattern of methylation, in human neurons.

Methylation involves the addition of a methyl group to DNA, turning genes on and off. Mapping methylation patterns can lend insight into the function of cells and how they might be affected by environmental factors.

At the 2011 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C., LaSalle, professor of medical microbiology and immunology at the University of California, Davis, made a case for the importance of the methylome in autism research.


For more reports from the 2011 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, please click here.