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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.

September 2011

Cognition and behavior: Probiotics alleviate anxiety in mice

by  /  20 September 2011

Probiotic bacteria alleviate stress in healthy mice and modify the expression of receptors for a chemical messenger that inhibits signaling in the brain.

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Researchers map gene expression in layers of mouse brain

by  /  16 September 2011

A new atlas of gene expression patterns in the adult mouse brain shows how thousands of genes are turned on in specific layers of the cortex.

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Genetics: Exome study finds new autism-linked mutations

by  /  16 September 2011

Researchers have identified autism-linked mutations using a technique that can detect deletions or duplications of DNA spanning a single gene.

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Ambitious U.K. project set to sequence 10,000 genomes

by  /  15 September 2011

The largest and most ambitious genome-sequencing project to date aims to identify rare variants and study their association to disease traits in 10,000 people.

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Autism exome study pinpoints mutations in brain genes

by  /  14 September 2011

Children with autism carry many more spontaneous point mutations in genes expressed in the brain compared with their unaffected siblings, according to unpublished findings presented Monday at the World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics in Washington, D.C.

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Reference set for Prader-Willi, Angelman syndromes debuts

by  /  14 September 2011

Researchers have developed standard genetic reference samples that clinicians can use to diagnose Angelman and Prader-Willi syndromes, two disorders associated with the same chromosomal region.

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Researchers identify gene regulating amygdala volume

by  /  13 September 2011

A variant of the FGF14 gene may decrease the volume of the amygdala, a brain structure needed to interpret emotions in facial expressions, according to results presented on Sunday at the World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics in Washington, D.C.

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Molecular mechanisms: Dopamine implicated in Rett syndrome

by  /  13 September 2011

Loss of MeCP2, the Rett syndrome gene, in neurons that release the chemical messenger dopamine may lead to the motor deficits associated with the syndrome.

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New mutations spike in offspring of older fathers

by  /  12 September 2011

The offspring of older male mice are 16 times more likely to harbor a spontaneous copy number variation — a deletion or duplication of genetic material — than are the offspring of young males, according to a new study.

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Functional imaging studies may be marred by head motion

by  /  7 September 2011

Even small head movements inside a brain scanner can affect results, according to a report published 23 July in Neuroimage.

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