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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: mouse models

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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Neuron-specific virus overcomes barriers to brain-related gene therapy

by  /  14 January 2022

A new viral variant can deliver genes exclusively to the brain, overcoming a key hurdle in treating neurological conditions using gene therapy.

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Series of micrographs of synapses in stressed mice with mutated SHANK3 gene showing high expression of HOMER1A protein and loss of SHANK3.

Autism-linked gene primes stress vulnerability in mice

by  /  3 January 2022

In mice with a mutated copy of SHANK3, stress induces social deficits and alters gene expression in certain excitatory neurons. But eliminating a stress-related protein that regulates SHANK3 restores typical social functioning in the animals.

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December 2021

Artificial intelligence system categorizes interactions between mice

by  /  17 December 2021

New software can automatically identify and quantify mouse social behavior from videos, saving researchers time.

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Myelin loss may explain how autism-linked DNA deletion affects cognition

by  /  8 December 2021

Deleting a copy of the gene TBX1 depletes the fatty myelin insulation that surrounds neurons and reduces cognitive speed in mice.

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November 2021
UBE3A expression in mouse brain slices, shown in green.

One-shot gene therapy for Angelman syndrome shows promise in mice

by  /  29 November 2021

A potential new gene therapy delivered via a single injection mimics ratios of proteins normally found in cells.

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Pink, blue and purple illustration shows a cell with mitochondria.

Mitochondria: An energy explanation for autism

by  /  22 November 2021

People with autism have more mutations than others do in both mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA that affects mitochondrial function.

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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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Illustration shows a cartoon-like simple figure made out of a switchboard, with colorful cables converging on an area deep in the brain.

Brain’s sensory switchboard has complex connections to autism

by  /  15 November 2021

An atypical thalamus may underlie not only sensory issues in autism but also difficulties with social skills, attention and memory.

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New studies reveal how autism might alter synapse formation, pruning

by  /  12 November 2021

The work fills in gaps about how synapses change before and after birth — essential knowledge for understanding whether synapse development differs in autism.

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