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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.

January 2021
Colorful CT scan of a zebrafish head.

Zebrafish strains reveal broad effects of autism genes

by  /  11 January 2021

Mutations in autism-linked genes lead to a variety of changes in brain activity, sensory perception and sleep-wake cycles in zebrafish.

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grid of clocks showing different times

Missing autism gene may affect time perception in mice

by  /  11 January 2021

Mice missing a copy of the autism-linked gene NRXN1 appear to perceive some time intervals as shorter than control mice do, according to a new study.

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Illustration shows the hands of researchers selecting parts of a DNA helix for secure shredding.

‘Sanitizing’ functional genomics data may prevent privacy breaches

by  /  8 January 2021

A new technique for masking portions of raw genomic data increases shareability without sacrificing privacy.

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human and mouse cells.

Atlas pair profiles fetal gene expression, regulation in single cells

by  /  7 January 2021

A pair of new atlases that profile millions of cells across 15 organs offer an unparalleled look at gene activity during fetal development.

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lab mice

Mice with autism-related mutations show brain signaling imbalance

by  /  4 January 2021

Mutations in POGZ, a gene strongly linked to autism, lead to a signaling imbalance in multiple brain regions in mice, according to two new studies.

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December 2020
Protein in brain

Drug helps mice with autism-linked mutation recognize others

by  /  21 December 2020

Mice that model 22q11.2 deletion syndrome lack social memory, but that trait can be reversed using a drug that targets the flow of potassium ions in neurons.

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Oxytocin neurons stained pink and green.

Autism-linked gene exerts varied effects on oxytocin circuits in mice

by  /  18 December 2020

Two types of neurons process social information, a new mouse study suggests, but only one is disrupted in mice missing the autism-linked gene FMR1.

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Stylized DNA molecule

Mutations in the same exon linked to similar autism traits

by  /  17 December 2020

People with autism who carry DNA variants in the same protein-coding region of a gene have more similar cognitive abilities and behaviors than those who carry mutations in different regions of the same gene.

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Approximately 24 month old twin girls, one of them reaching for something.

Genes’ influence on social behaviors shifts with age

by  /  14 December 2020

Some social behaviors associated with autism are heritable, but the extent to which genes and the environment influence these behaviors changes as a child grows.

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Mutated cells in mouse embryos--the mutations are seen in pink

Autism genes affect development of neurons and glia

by  /  11 December 2020

Researchers have devised a new way of seeing how gene mutations affect cells during development.

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