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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
Brain hemispheres color-coded.

Autism shares brain structure changes with other psychiatric conditions

by  /  1 October 2020

Atypical development of a particular type of neuron explains the structural similarities seen in the brains of people with autism, schizophrenia and other conditions, according to a new study.

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September 2020
Illustration shows two long rows of vials with genetic information inside, the shadows they cast are in the shape of humans.

How scientists secure the data driving autism research

by  /  30 September 2020

Protecting the privacy of autistic people and their families faces new challenges in the era of big data.

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White lab mouse sitting in a gloved hand.

Silencing ‘poison exon’ eliminates deadly seizures in mice

by  /  24 September 2020

A new treatment curbs deadly seizures in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy.

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Micrograph of a mitochondria.

Fragile X syndrome traits may stem from leaky mitochondria

by  /  11 September 2020

Plugging a leaky mitochondrial membrane may help fragile X neurons to mature and function more efficiently.

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Colorful chart showing variants in chromosomes.

Scan of genomes for inherited variants lays bare new autism candidate

by  /  10 September 2020

Lowered expression of a gene called DDHD2 may increase a person’s likelihood of having autism, according to a new analysis.

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Neurons in a macaque cortex express parvalbumin in red.

Virus-based method manipulates inhibitory neurons in brains

by  /  9 September 2020

A new viral tool can selectively control different types of neurons that dampen brain activity in rodents, monkeys and people.

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Zebrafish embryos with various deformities.

CRISPR technique knocks down gene expression in animal embryos

by  /  2 September 2020

A new method that suppresses gene expression in the embryos of fish and mice may help researchers study autism genes in early development.

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August 2020
Two mice side-by-side.

Drug improves social behaviors, oxytocin signaling in autism mouse model

by  /  31 August 2020

Mice missing the autism gene NLGN3 have altered social behaviors and brain responses to the hormone oxytocin, both of which improve after treatment with a drug that helps regulate protein production.

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Series of micrographs showing neurons with Rett syndrome mutations lacking liquid compartments around DNA.

DNA droplets may be key to Rett syndrome, researchers say

by  /  27 August 2020

Mutations in the MECP2 gene, which are associated with autism and Rett syndrome, interfere with a cell’s ability to form droplets of DNA that silence gene expression.

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Proteins binding to RNA, illustration.

Massive encyclopedia catalogs genome’s regulatory regions

by  /  26 August 2020

The most comprehensive catalog to date of DNA regions that modify gene expression is helping researchers uncover the role these segments play in autism.

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