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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: chromatin

January 2022
Micrograph of intestinal bacteria.

Infection in pregnant mice ups risk of gut problems in pups

by  /  18 January 2022

Infection during pregnancy can tweak a mouse’s gut microbiome in ways that have lasting effects on her pups’ immune system and increase their chances of gut inflammation, a new study suggests.

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Normal mouse brain (left) vs brain in mouse lacking POGZ gene (right)

Top autism-linked gene boosts DNA accessibility during development

by  /  10 January 2022

Loss of the POGZ gene in mice makes certain genes inaccessible and prevents their expression.

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December 2021
Illustration of DNA helix highlighting the methylation process.

DNA methylation in autism, explained

by  /  13 December 2021

How chemical tags called methyl groups position themselves on genetic sequences may hint at some of the causes of 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
Playful clay chromatin strand is not plugged in, there fore, not turned on

Autism’s link to chromatin remodeling, explained

by  /  6 July 2021

Many of the genes strongly linked to autism are involved in the remodeling of chromatin, the complex of DNA and proteins that makes up chromosomes. Scientists are just beginning to understand why.

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April 2021

Loss of CHD8 from cerebellum disrupts movements, not social behaviors

by  /  26 April 2021

Deleting the autism-linked gene CHD8 from specific cells in the cerebellum, a brain region important for movement, leads to motor deficits but does not alter social behaviors in mice.

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single celled zygote seen as a colorful cluster of dots, next to a four cell embryo, visualized in the same way.

Intact-cell sequencing lays bare new view of genome structure

by  /  22 April 2021

The technique enables researchers to sequence the DNA of an intact cell, providing a unique view of the genome’s organization inside the nucleus.

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A group of six images of fruit fly brains show networks in green and pink.

Poor sleep could be core feature of autism, related conditions

by  /  15 April 2021

Fruit flies with low expression of a gene linked to neurodevelopment have disrupted sleep, poor memory and altered social behavior.

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January 2021
Molecular model of histone protein which wraps up DNA strands.

New condition hints at structural protein’s role in autism

by  /  22 January 2021

Mutations in genes that encode a histone, which gives structure to chromosomes, can lead to developmental delay and congenital anomalies.

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Neurons show structural changes, seen in black and white.

Loss of a top autism gene may alter neuron structure

by  /  12 January 2021

Mutations in the autism-linked gene ASH1L change how neurons grow and develop.

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