TOPIC

Genes

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

April 2018
Scan of the frontal lobe of the brain
News

Autism syndrome involves constellation of medical issues

by  /  30 April 2018

Mutations in a gene called ADNP lead to a syndrome that includes autism, intellectual disability and problems with the gut, eyesight, heart and brain.

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four scientists standing on colorful tile
News

CRISPR goes wild, and scientists debate its fidelity

by  /  30 April 2018

The gene-editing tool CRISPR may cause thousands of off-target mutations, but critics say it’s way too soon to accuse it of infidelity.

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scientific illustration of protein mutations
News / Toolbox

Web-based tools reveal mutations’ effects on proteins

by  /  27 April 2018

Two new online resources help researchers predict how mutations alter protein structure.

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Opinion / Q&A

Autism genes assign starring role to support cells in brain

by  /  24 April 2018

Genes linked to autism are critical to the development of star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes, suggesting a key role for the cells in the condition.

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genetic code sequences
News / Toolbox

Map of DNA variation identifies key genetic regions

by  /  20 April 2018

A new analysis of the genomes of more than 11,000 people reveals regions that have few mutations, indicating they have important functions.

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father and son standing on the beach during sunset
News

Some mutations tied to autism may be passed down from fathers

by  /  19 April 2018

Some children with autism inherit rare mutations in noncoding DNA from their unaffected fathers.

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four brains sliced to show varying thickness
News

Genes altered in autism may control brain’s thickness

by  /  12 April 2018

Some genes associated with autism may influence the thickness of the cerebral cortex, the brain’s outer layer.

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CASPR2 antibodies (green) bind to sensory neurons that send signals to the spinal cord (right) but not to neurons in the spinal cord (left).
News

Loss of autism gene makes mice sensitive to pain

by  /  9 April 2018

Mice lacking CNTNAP2, a gene strongly linked to autism, are acutely sensitive to pain.

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mutations in their mitochondrial genome
News

Mounting evidence links mitochondrial DNA to autism

by  /  5 April 2018

Genetic variants that affect mitochondria, the organelles that power cells, may increase the risk of autism.

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A bundle of nerves connecting the brain’s hemispheres is thinner in mice missing TAOK2 (right) than in controls (left).
News

Gene in autism risk region plays key role in brain development

by  /  4 April 2018

Mice missing TAOK2, a gene in a segment of chromosome 16 linked to autism, have big brains, immature neuronal junctions and asocial behavior.

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