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Genes

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

November 2010
News / Profiles

Hazel Sive: A fish tale

by  /  29 November 2010

Hazel Sive is a classically-trained embryologist and developmental biologist, and an expert in zebrafish genetics. She is using the small, transparent fish embryos for research on autism — an odd choice, as they obviously lack the complex behavioral repertoire seen in the disorder.

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‘Daydreaming’ circuit implicated in autism, attention deficit

by  /  24 November 2010

Areas of the brain that are active when people are daydreaming or sleeping, and quiet when they are engaged in a task, are imperfectly synchronized in people with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, researchers say.

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Modeling captures mouse habitat’s effect on neurons

by  /  19 November 2010

Computerized three-dimensional modeling shows nerve cell abnormalities in the hippocampus of fragile X mice — and suggests the importance of raising experimental mice in more natural habitats, according to a poster presented Wednesday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Antibiotic proves promising as fragile X treatment

by  /  19 November 2010

Minocycline, an antibiotic approved to treat various infections including acne, can increase vocalizations and provide long-lasting improvements in anxiety in a fragile X mouse model, according to two posters presented at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Video: Live from the brain, it’s neuron development

by  /  19 November 2010

Brain cells communicate across complex junctions called synapses, filled with proteins working to bind neurons together. Kurt Haas of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver has developed a method to watch neuron development in the growing tadpole brain.

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Large study pinpoints new genetic risk region for autism

by  /  19 November 2010

Deletion of the chromosomal region 17q12 dramatically increases the risk for autism and schizophrenia, according to a large study published last week in the American Journal of Human Genetics. Individuals missing this sizeable region are about 14 times more likely to develop one of those disorders, the study reports.

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Mouse model hints at Alzheimer’s therapies for fragile X

by  /  19 November 2010

Lowering the levels of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease can improve symptoms of fragile X syndrome in mice, according to a poster presented Wednesday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Potential biomarker found in urine of children with autism

by  /  18 November 2010

Young children with autism have high urine levels of a compound that is likely to be a product of gut bacteria, according to a poster presented Tuesday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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Video: Mining genes from whole genomes

by  /  18 November 2010

Rapid advances in DNA sequencing technology are enabling researchers to comb quickly — and ever more cheaply — through whole genomes. At the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego, Evan Eichler talked to SFARI about what the rapid accumulation of genetic sequence information means for autism research.

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Video: Pathways to discovering autism genes

by  /  18 November 2010

What makes a good candidate gene for autism? At the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego, John Rubenstein discussed two complementary ways to identify genes involved in autism: start with the DNA, or start with a hypothesis.

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