After more than a decade of effort, scientists are questioning whether mouse models of autism can ever capture the social deficits seen in people with the condition.
Integrating human-specific genetic elements into mice may provide a permissive, ‘humanized’ environment for studying autism.
As the list of autism candidate genes grows, some mouse models of the genes turn up in long-forgotten studies.
The male-dominated sex bias in autism is reversed in a related syndrome, a researcher’s gender could influence her study’s outcome, and an award-nominated ad featuring a young man with autism draws criticism.
Children with mutations in a gene called DYRK1A, a leading autism candidate, have a distinct set of features, including intellectual disability, speech delay, motor problems and a small head.
Researchers have debuted two mouse models of autism made using the gene-editing tool CRISPR. Both strains lack one copy of CHD8, a gene with strong ties to autism.
Families need more support from researchers in order for their heroic efforts to be optimally effective.
Two candidate genes have risen to the top, and may help scientists understand what autism really is.
Children with autism who carry mutations in the chromosomal region 16p11.2 or the gene CHD8 — two of the leading risk factors for autism — show distinct patterns of chemical tags on their DNA.
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