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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 2019
White rice in cage

Testing gene therapy for autism in mice? Consider your controls

by  /  3 October 2019

Deleting the mutation from an autism gene may reverse some autism traits in mice, according to a new study. But the results may be a fluke.

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September 2019

Genetic registry reaps bounty of new autism genes

by  /  30 September 2019

An analysis of genetic sequences from nearly 500 people with autism and their relatives has linked 13 new genes to the condition. It has also uncovered a genetic cause for autism in about 10 percent of the autistic participants.

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X chromosome with lots of contrasty texture inside, transparent outside

Genome structure unlikely to wield major influence on gene expression

by  /  27 September 2019

New findings call into question a fundamental assumption about how genes are regulated.

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row of babies playing with toys that look like genome sequence

Studies of tuberous sclerosis may shed light on biology of autism

by  /  24 September 2019

Tuberous sclerosis provides a unique opportunity to understand autism because about half of people with that single-gene condition also have autism.

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colorful clusters of cells

Atlas of developing brain reveals rainbow of cell types

by  /  20 September 2019

An online resource reveals all major cell types in the developing human brain during the period in which autism is thought to arise.

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colorful micrograph of cells dividing

Whole-genome study lifts veil on inheritance patterns in autism

by  /  19 September 2019

An analysis of whole-genome sequences from nearly 500 families has implicated 16 new genes in autism.

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triangle effect digital rendering shows the shapes of a red neuron network

Drug screen reveals potential treatments for Rett syndrome

by  /  11 September 2019

An experimental leukemia drug and a chemical in black pepper ease breathing and movement problems in a mouse model of Rett syndrome.

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Scientist Annie Ciernia runs in the forest, wearing lab coat and carrying a stack of papers that are also flying along behind her

Beyond the bench: A conversation with Annie Ciernia

by  /  10 September 2019

Annie Ciernia describes the greenhouse origins of her scientific career and why a unicorn makes a good lab mascot.

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Older father carries son in reed baseball cap

Mutations in sperm may accrue too slowly to increase autism risk

by  /  5 September 2019

A new analysis challenges the idea that mutations in the sperm of older fathers lead to higher rates of autism among their children.

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Protein ‘bubbles’ released from neurons may play role in autism

by  /  4 September 2019

Problems with protein-filled parcels called exosomes may contribute to Rett syndrome, a condition related to autism.

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