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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Genes

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

December 2011

Genetics: Focus on 2q23.1 region reveals autism candidate gene

by  /  23 December 2011

MBD5, one of 20 genes located in the 2q23.1 chromosomal region, may be responsible for the autism-like syndrome caused by deletions in the region, according to a study published 7 October in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

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Rhode Island plans statewide registry for autism research

by  /  22 December 2011

A consortium of autism researchers, advocates and educators in Rhode Island are aiming to harness the advantages of the state’s small size and tight-knit autism community to build the most comprehensive registry for the disorder yet.

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Clinical research: Cancer drug could treat Angelman syndrome

by  /  21 December 2011

A cancer drug shows promise as a treatment for Angelman syndrome, according to a study published today in Nature.

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Quick test for fragile X may be ideal for developing nations

by  /  21 December 2011

Dried spots of blood taken from infants at birth can help clinicians screen for fragile X syndrome in countries with limited resources, according to a study published 11 October in Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers.

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Adult decisions

by  /  20 December 2011

A new report outlines priorities for studying adults with autism, ranging from designing diagnostic tests to the most effective models of long-term care.

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New scheme ramps up efforts to aggregate autism data

by  /  19 December 2011

The nation’s largest database of autism research is about to get even bigger, thanks to a partnership between the National Database for Autism Research, a repository of data from 25,000 participants, and the Autism Genetic Research Exchange, a database of 2,500 families.

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Model empathy

by  /  16 December 2011

Rats possess a surprising sense of empathy, according to research published last week in Science. The findings highlight one more reason why rats, with their complex repertoire of social behavior, may be well suited for autism studies.

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Molecular mechanisms: Master regulator altered in autism

by  /  16 December 2011

SP1, a protein that regulates the expression of several autism candidate genes, could increase risk of the disorder by simultaneously altering the expression of a number of the genes, according to a study published 24 October in Biological Psychiatry.

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Yellow and orange molecular model of the secondary structure of interleukin-10, a small protein known as a cytokine that plays an important regulatory role in the body's immune system.

Studies of early development reveal immune link to autism

by  /  15 December 2011

The molecular soldiers of the immune system may contribute to many cases of autism, according to a diverse array of studies published in the past few months.

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Genetics: Family pedigrees suggest autism gene candidates

by  /  14 December 2011

Researchers have identified 12 duplications or deletions of DNA regions that are transmitted along with autism in families with a history of the disorder. The results were published 7 October in PLoS One.

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