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Spectrum: Autism Research News

TOPIC

Genes

Rare or common, inherited or spontaneous, mutations form the core of autism risk.

October 2020

Integrating molecular data may reveal subgroups of autism

by  /  30 October 2020

An analysis of four molecular datasets shows a distinct signature, including changes in gene expression and chemical DNA modifications, in some autism brains.

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Reactions from ASHG 2020

by  /  30 October 2020

Get the inside scoop from the 2020 American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting.

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Black mother pushing her child on swing at playground.

First analysis of African autism cohort reveals millions of new variants

by  /  29 October 2020

Genome sequences from a research cohort of autistic African children and their families have revealed more than 4 million novel variants, some of which occur in genes not previously linked to the condition.

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Mature dad and his daughter plays with blocks

Parental age plays small role in large mutations tied to autism

by  /  26 October 2020

Most of the large, spontaneous genetic mutations tied to autism are passed down from fathers. But, unlike with smaller mutations, a parent’s age is unlikely to up the rate at which they occur.

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Adolescent has cheek swabbed

Autism, intellectual disability linked to levels of fragile X protein

by  /  26 October 2020

People with particularly low levels of FMRP, the protein lacking in those with fragile X syndrome, are more likely to also have autism and severe intellectual disability.

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Gut neurons and glia (red, green) are fragile and interwoven with other cells (blue) in the colon, making them tricky to isolate.

Cell maps reveal diversity of neurons in gut

by  /  21 October 2020

An atlas that details gene expression in neurons and other cells from the intestines of mice and people may help to elucidate the link between gut problems and autism.

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Mother and child having a conversation in nature.

Traits in mothers may signal gene variants for autism

by  /  16 October 2020

Autistic children’s traits track with subtle, autism-like behaviors in their mothers; women with these traits may also carry a genetic predisposition to the condition.

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Ralf Schmid, the research director in Neurodevelopmental diseases at the Gene Therapy Program Orphan Disease Center, loads replicated mouse dna into wells in the gel before applying electric current to test the viability of the dna.

A quest for Quincy: Gene therapies come of age for some forms of autism

by ,  /  14 October 2020

A gene therapy for Angelman syndrome stands at the forefront of efforts to treat autism-linked conditions that stem from single genes.

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neurons in green.

Brain organoids reveal neuronal flaws in syndrome tied to autism

by  /  12 October 2020

Neurons derived from people with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome show deficits in calcium signaling and electrical activity, pointing to possible therapeutic targets.

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White mouse grooming.

Nighttime light affects sleep, repetitive behaviors in autism mouse model

by  /  5 October 2020

Mice missing an autism gene groom themselves more than usual and have altered circadian rhythms after nighttime exposure to light.

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