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Genes

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

March 2021
Genetic sequencing on computer screen in lab setting.
News / Toolbox

Online library details traits linked to genetic conditions

by  /  31 March 2021

An expanding collection of websites compiles up-to-date information on the characteristics of people with mutations in genes linked to autism and other conditions.

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Scanning elecgron micrograph of Faecal bacteria.
News

Gut microbes shape social behavior in autism mouse model

by  /  26 March 2021

Treating mice missing the autism-linked gene CNTNAP2 with a strain of gut bacteria makes them more social but no less hyperactive.

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News

Top autism-linked gene has divergent effects on brain growth in mice

by  /  25 March 2021

Mutations in CHD8 lead to brain overgrowth or undergrowth in mice, depending on how they affect the gene’s expression.

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Brain made of DNA strands on a background of molecule shapes
Opinion / Viewpoint

There are no autism-specific genes, just brain genes

by ,  /  23 March 2021

There is not yet a single example of a gene that, when mutated, increases the likelihood of autism but not of other neurodevelopmental conditions, including intellectual disability.

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News

Innate stress response may link maternal infection to autism

by  /  19 March 2021

A typically protective stress response could help to explain the connection between maternal illness and neurodevelopmental conditions.

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Oligodendrocyte shown orange on black in this scanning electron micrograph.
News

How oligodendrocytes may shape autism

by  /  15 March 2021

A growing body of evidence shows that brain cells called oligodendrocytes may play a larger role in autism than previously thought.

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mouse brain neurons highlighted pink and green.
News / Toolbox

New technique tunes in to molecular chatter in neurons

by  /  11 March 2021

Researchers have devised a way to use fluorescent sensors to detect many different signaling molecules in a cell at once.

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Street view in Ricuarte, Colombia
News

Colombia lags behind in fragile X syndrome testing, diagnosis

by  /  10 March 2021

People with fragile X syndrome in Colombia are diagnosed at age 27, on average, according to the first study to assess diagnosis in the country. By comparison, the average age of fragile X diagnosis in the United States is younger than 4.

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A digital rendering of a green neuron on black
News

Brain activity jump-starts autism-linked genes in human neurons

by  /  5 March 2021

Some neurons activate autism-linked genes when they fire, according to a new study.

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A lone Rhesus macaque looks into the camera
News / Toolbox

New macaque reference genome fills sequence gaps

by  /  4 March 2021

Researchers have created the most complete macaque reference genome to date and used it to catalog genetic variation among hundreds of monkeys.

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