TOPIC

Environment

From parental age to infection during pregnancy, environmental elements can influence autism risk.

News
Family together in kitchen, showing three generations

Majority of autism risk resides in genes, multinational study suggests

by  /  17 July 2019
About 81 percent of autism risk comes from inherited genetic factors, according to an analysis of more than 2 million children from five countries.
News
neurons in mice brains

Inflammation may wield sex-specific effects on developing brain

by  /  8 May 2019
Exposure to inflammation in the womb may affect the brain and behavior of males and females differently.
News
Two twin girls wearing blue kneeling down on the ground.

Early life experiences may shift severity of autism

by  /  3 May 2019
A child’s environment exerts a strong influence on the severity of her autism, a study of identical twins suggests.
March 2019
News / Toolbox

Genome catalog bolsters global microbiome research

by  /  22 March 2019

The largest-yet attempt to characterize the global diversity of the human microbiome — the population of microbes that live in our bodies — has found 4,930 species, 77 percent of which were previously unknown.

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News

Does vitamin use in pregnancy alter autism risk? Maybe, maybe not

by  /  4 March 2019

Despite the hype around a new study, it may be too soon to conclude that taking prenatal vitamins during pregnancy lowers the child’s chances of autism.

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February 2019
baby in utero, with placenta and antibodies and molecules
Opinion / Viewpoint

What the placenta could reveal about autism

by  /  19 February 2019

Understanding the interactions between the placenta and the uterine lining could explain how maternal immune activation leads to autism.

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News / Toolbox

Lab-grown placentas, cell atlas may aid study of early pregnancy

by  /  1 February 2019

A cell atlas and a cell-culture method promise to advance scientists’ understanding of the placenta and its effects on a fetus.

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January 2019
News

Gut microbes may treat social difficulties in autism mice

by  /  16 January 2019

Consuming Lactobacillus reuteri, a gut microbe found in yogurt and breast milk, may enhance social interactions in three mouse models of autism.

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December 2018
Siblings, a baby and a toddler, play together at home.
Features / Deep Dive

How pregnancy may shape a child’s autism

by  /  5 December 2018

Autism is predominantly genetic in origin, but a growing list of prenatal exposures for mother and baby may sway the odds.

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November 2018
Two white mice, one on a wheel, sniff noses.
News

Infection during childhood may aggravate autism risk from mutation

by  /  7 November 2018

Triggering an immune defense in newborn male mice missing a copy of TSC2, a gene linked to autism, impairs the mice’s social memory.

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News

Inflammation in womb may spawn autism-like traits in males

by  /  6 November 2018

Chronic exposure to inflammation in the womb alters autism gene expression and disrupts social behavior in male mice, but not females.

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Illustration shows a maze of elements: human brain, medicine, chromosome, factory, clouds and lightning bolts
News

Environmental risk for autism, explained

by  /  5 November 2018

Autism results from an interplay between genetics and the environment, but it has been tough to nail down the environmental factors involved.

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A white lab rat on a grey background.
News

Brain scans of rats reveal molecular clues to autism’s link

by  /  4 November 2018

Rats exposed prenatally to a cocktail of ‘autoimmune’ molecules have altered levels of two types of compounds needed for brain development.

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