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TOPIC

Genes

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

February 2021
DNA mutation
News

Proteins linked to top autism gene might aid early diagnosis

by  /  26 February 2021

Blood levels of PTEN protein and associated molecules could eventually help diagnose autism and other neurological conditions — and predict their outcomes.

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Oil and water with colors behind: blue, green, yellow and red.
Opinion / Q&A

How microscopic ‘condensates’ in cells might contribute to autism

by  /  23 February 2021

A controversial idea about how cells compartmentalize their contents into droplets — like beads of oil in water — could be key to understanding autism, says Julie Forman-Kay.

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Oligodendrocyte gene grouping showing network of blue lines connecting the gene names on reddish bubbles.
News

Differing gene functions across species may pose problems for autism models

by  /  22 February 2021

Misaligned gene expression maps suggest that some autism-linked genes play distinct roles in mouse and human brains.

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Singing zebra finches
News

Autism gene interference silences song memory in birds

by  /  19 February 2021

Muffling expression of an autism-linked gene in a key song-related area of the brain renders young zebra finches unable to learn songs from older birds.

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Transmission Electron micrograph shows mitochondria colored an aqua blue.
News

Changes to mitochondrial DNA spur autism-like traits in mice

by  /  17 February 2021

Mice with a mutation in their mitochondrial DNA show altered brain activity, repetitive behaviors and reduced sociability, according to a new study.

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News

Genetic variants in protein target sites may contribute to autism

by  /  12 February 2021

Mutations that disrupt binding sites in RNA molecules may play a role in autism and a variety of psychiatric conditions, according to a new study.

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cells in a mouse brain show the mutations in green.
News / Toolbox

Molecular switch marks mosaic mutations in mice

by  /  11 February 2021

A new tool enables researchers to create mosaic mutations in only some cells and then accurately identify which cells are affected.

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News

Mutations in frogs point to autism genes’ shared role in neurogenesis

by  /  10 February 2021

Mutations in any of 10 autism-linked genes in frogs lead to the same overabundance of brain cells that develop into neurons; the sex hormone estrogen lowers this excess.

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four figures overlapping in red and blue with multi-colored genetic info
News

Common variants link autism, ADHD, Tourette syndrome

by  /  2 February 2021

Genetic variants that contribute to autism may also be involved in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Tourette syndrome, according to a new study.

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Heatmap plot showing how each genetic variant plus autism group differed.
News

Copy number variations linked to autism have diverse but overlapping effects

by  /  1 February 2021

People with mutations in distant chromosomal regions often share a range of autism traits, even if they do not meet the diagnostic threshold for autism.

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