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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: fragile X syndrome

February 2022
Dr. Hollis Cline at her desk.

Hollis Cline: Leapfrogging over gaps in autism research

by  /  1 February 2022

A basic scientist at heart, Hollis Cline has spent decades pushing the boundaries of what researchers can see in the brain. Her persistence has led to a deeper understanding of how some autism-linked genes influence brain development.

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January 2022
Micrograph showing distinct RNA species found in CA1 hippocampal neuronal cell bodies (yellow) and dendrites (red) undergoing compartmentalized RNA regulation.

Location prompts fragile X protein to flip its function

by  /  31 January 2022

The protein, FMRP, shapes cell signaling near synapses but switches to regulate genes in the cell body, according to new research.

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November 2021
Stylized illustration combines flat color and 3D forms make up a mitochondria with human heads inside it.

Meet the ‘mitomaniacs’ who say mitochondria matter in autism

by  /  22 November 2021

Clues that problems with mitochondria contribute to autism have been accumulating for decades. In the past five years, a mutant mouse and a flurry of findings have energized the field.

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New gene-editing tools delete long stretches of DNA

by  /  17 November 2021

Two new methods make it possible to delete long sections of the genome, expanding the reach of CRISPR gene editing.

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Fragile X theory falters on amygdala test

by  /  10 November 2021

Activating certain receptors in the amygdala — a treatment that runs counter to a leading theory of what causes the condition — can reverse some traits in rats.

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October 2021
Illustration: a 3D DNA molecule sits on a gridded background, with yellow paper rays arrayed around it.

Subset of autism cases linked to mutations in noncoding genome

by  /  20 October 2021

Autism involves mutations in noncoding portions of the genome in at least 3 percent of people with the condition. The mutations occur in regions that help regulate known autism-linked genes.

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September 2021
Many people in different areas on a target.

Finding a path forward for fragile X drugs

by  /  23 September 2021

The stubborn lack of treatments for fragile X syndrome — a leading cause of inherited intellectual disability and autism — is spurring researchers to revise clinical trial techniques and revisit old drug candidates.

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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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A lighthearted, colorful, chaotic lab scene with fruit flies, worms peeking out of petri dishes, zebrafish in beakers and an octopus creeping out of a cabinet..

Special report: Unusual animal models of autism

by  /  8 September 2021

In the past two decades, some autism researchers have turned to simple animals, such as roundworms, fruit flies and zebrafish, for their investigations. Others have sought answers from experiments with frogs, birds and even octopuses.

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August 2021
Young patient speaking to counselor.

Q&A with Brenda Finucane: Building pipelines for genetic tests for autism

by  /  17 August 2021

Most autistic people do not receive the medically recommended genetic tests for autism. Brenda Finucane and her colleagues want to change that.

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