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Spectrum: Autism Research News


March 2014

Genetics: MicroRNA may suppress autism gene expression

by  /  25 March 2014

A small fragment of RNA may regulate the expression of RORA, a gene implicated in many autism-related pathways, according to a study published 6 February in Scientific Reports.

December 2013

Drug fixes cellular defects in autism-related disorder

by  /  2 December 2013

A new stem-cell model of Phelan-McDermid syndrome points to a possible treatment for the rare autism-related disorder, according to a study published in Nature.

November 2013

Where will the focus on SHANK genes lead?

by  /  11 November 2013

Geneticists react to discoveries and identify next steps for one of autism’s most promising candidate genes.


SHANK mutations converge at neuronal junctions in autism

by ,  /  5 November 2013

SHANK3, one of the strongest candidate genes for autism, has the potential to be a molecular entry point into understanding the synaptic, developmental and circuit origins of the disorder.

October 2013

Robust models

by  /  11 October 2013

Rodent models that recapitulate the core features of autism often have additional traits, leading us to ask whether these traits are integral to autism, says Elisa Hill-Yardin.

June 2012

SHANK2 mouse models show opposite brain signaling

by  /  25 June 2012

Two new strains of mice carrying different mutations in the SHANK2 gene show similar autism-like behaviors but opposing effects on brain signaling, according to two independent studies published 14 June in Nature.

May 2012

Molecular mechanisms: SHANK2, SHANK3 mouse brains differ

by  /  16 May 2012

Mice lacking the autism-associated gene SHANK2 show autism-like behaviors similar to those seen in mice lacking SHANK3, another member of the same gene family. But SHANK2 and SHANK3 mice have distinct alterations at neuronal junctions, according to a report published 29 April in Nature.

February 2012

SHANK2 study bolsters ‘multi-hit’ gene model of autism

by  /  13 February 2012

By screening the genomes of hundreds of people with autism and analyzing the effects of newly identified mutations in cultured neurons, researchers have clarified the disorder’s link to the SHANK2 gene.

November 2011

Researchers debut SHANK2 mouse, SHANK3 rat

by  /  14 November 2011

Mice lacking the autism risk gene SHANK2 show social deficits and are extremely hyperactive, according to unpublished research presented Saturday at the 2011 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

July 2010

Synaptic defects link autism, schizophrenia

by  /  2 July 2010

Several independent groups have found previously unknown risk genes for autism, schizophrenia and mental retardation. The candidate genes have one thing in common: they encode proteins that are needed for the healthy function of synapses, the junctions between neurons.