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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.

October 2020
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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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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