Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: mouse models

January 2022

Rethinking the origins of neurons: Q&A with Tomasz Nowakowski

by  /  20 January 2022

Excitatory and inhibitory neurons can derive from the same cellular source in the developing human brain, a new study suggests, overturning a 20-year-old hypothesis. Tomasz Nowakowski discusses the finding’s implications for autism research.

Comments
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.

Comments

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.

Comments
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.

Comments
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.

Comments

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.

Comments
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.

Comments
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.

Comments
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.

Comments
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.

Comments