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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: CHD8

September 2022
An illustration of two scientists carrying a larger-than-life DNA strand on their shoulders.

Community Newsletter: Autism gene lists, genetic diversity in mouse models, an autism biomarker

by  /  4 September 2022

This week, we’re bringing you some labors of love: a thread lamenting the autism field’s focus on gene lists, a study introducing genetic diversity in mouse models, and long-awaited results from a biomarker study.

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August 2022
Several strands of DNA with different openings at different points to show different functions for the same gene at different points in time

‘Double duty’ autism-linked genes upend conventional characterizations

by  /  23 August 2022

What these genes do and how they affect autism depends on when in development they’re studied, despite what classic ‘gene ontology’ analyses say.

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May 2022
Ultrasound in black and white shows a pattern.

Heart anomalies abound in mouse models of autism

by  /  23 May 2022

Of nine genetic models examined in a new study, all had some incidence of cardiac abnormalities. But the problems varied widely depending on the affected genes.

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April 2022
organoids in early stages of development.

Organoids show how mutations in top autism gene may lead to brain overgrowth in people

by  /  19 April 2022

The loss of CHD8, a top autism gene, speeds up the production of certain neurons and leads to overgrowth in spheres of cultured brain cells.

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February 2022

Three autism-linked genes converge on tweaks to cells’ timing

by  /  2 February 2022

Mutations in all three accelerate the maturation of inhibitory neurons, which could upset the brain’s balance of excitation and inhibition early in development.

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September 2021
researcher holds zebrafinch

Fish, frogs, flies and other fauna in scientific firsts

by  /  8 September 2021

Over the past century, scientists have used a variety of animal models to advance their understanding of the developing brain and autism.

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August 2021
Illustration of brain showing overexcited and underexcited parts of the brain represented by jagged and loose squiggles.

Disruptions to brain’s ‘thermostat’ may underpin autism traits

by  /  18 August 2021

Mounting evidence suggests that autism often involves upsets in homeostatic plasticity, a set of processes neurons use to stabilize their activity. These disruptions result from a range of autism-linked mutations and may help to explain the condition’s famed heterogeneity.

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July 2021

Sleep problems in autism may stem from leaky brain barrier

by  /  23 July 2021

Problems with falling and staying asleep are common in autism, and they may be due in part to leaks in the blood-brain barrier, according to a new study in fruit flies.

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Illustration shows yellow landscape with blue sections and a lot of trains on paths with kids on the trains, going different directions.

Mapping the futures of autistic children

by  /  14 July 2021

Researchers can roughly project what autistic children’s lives will look like years down the road. But how good is their crystal ball — and what are its benefits?

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May 2021
Mouse gut cells in blue, purple and pink

Loss of top autism-linked gene from gut alters behavior in mice

by  /  4 May 2021

Deleting CHD8 from the intestines induces gastrointestinal and behavioral changes in mice that resemble traits in people with mutations in the gene.

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