The Simons Simplex Collection (SSC), a database of genetic and clinical information from families that include one child with autism, has gathered data from more than 2,000 different families, researchers report in the October issue of Neuron.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Tag: Simons Simplex Collection
Researchers have devised a system to assign a unique identifier to each participant in an autism study. This Global Unique Identifier, or GUID, allows investigators to see which other studies participants have enrolled in, while maintaining participants’ privacy.
With robust training in developmental psychology and a techie’s fervor for new tools, Kevin Pelphrey is systematically investigating how the brain changes during development — starting in infants as young as 6 weeks old.
Racial minorities are under-represented in genetic studies, in part because research guidelines do not account for differences in family structure, according to a report based on statistics from several autism gene banks. In response to the report, research teams at Stanford University and the University of California, Los Angeles, are revamping their recruitment practices.
Two independent teams have identified the genetic culprits of three rare, inherited diseases by sequencing the genomes of several members of the same family. As the cost of whole-genome sequencing plummets, this family-based approach will reveal candidate genes not just for rare diseases but for common, complex disorders such as autism, experts say.
With an openness to collaboration and a healthy dose of daring, Evan Eichler has turned his offbeat interest in repeat DNA sequences into a new understanding of how genomes evolve, expediting the search for genes disrupted in autism.
Guoping Feng’s perseverance has proven a boon to the hundreds of neuroscientists who rely on his most celebrated scientific achievement: two dozen mouse strains engineered to have brightly colored brain cells. By creating the first robust mouse model of obsessive-compulsive disorder, Feng has also found a way to study repetitive behaviors, one of the three core characteristics of autism.
Interested more in ideas than in dominating a crowded field, Michael Wigler decided to apply his expertise in cancer genetics to studying poorly understood features of autism.