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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Science & Society

From funding decisions to scientific fraud, a wide range of societal factors shape autism research.

May 2012

New technique helps locate source of brain imaging signals

by  /  16 May 2012

Combining functional magnetic resonance imaging of rat brains with a technique that uses light to detect neuronal activity can help researchers hone in on the source of the activity, according to a study published 6 May in Nature Methods.

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Genetics: SHANK1 mutations found in men with autism

by  /  11 May 2012

Researchers have identified deletions in SHANK1 — the third member of a gene family that is closely linked to autism — in five men with the disorder, they reported 4 May in the American Journal of Human Genetics. This is the first study linking SHANK1 mutations to people with autism.

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Sponges made from RNA can knock down gene expression

by  /  9 May 2012

Researchers have created sponge-like assemblies of hundreds of thousands of short fragments of RNA, which can be used to dampen the expression of certain genes, according to a study published 26 February in Nature Materials.

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Chromosome exchanges reveal new autism-related genes

by  /  3 May 2012

Large-scale swapping of genetic material between chromosomes may play an important role in autism, according to a study published 27 April in Cell.

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April 2012

Why oh Y

by  /  24 April 2012

New research on children with extra sex chromosomes points to the Y chromosome’s role in autism.

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Gene expression altered in postmortem autism brains

by  /  23 April 2012

Postmortem brain tissue from people with autism shows differences in the expression of genes involved in a number of molecular pathways, including those that control cortical patterning, programmed cell death and differentiation, according to research published last month in PLoS Genetics.

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New diagnostic

by  /  17 April 2012

Parents searching for a genetic diagnosis for their child with autism now have a new option: a test that analyzes 62 different genes linked to syndromic autism, meaning cases of the disorder caused by mutation of a single gene.

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Massive effort planned to map visual brain in mice

by  /  16 April 2012

A ten-year initiative announced last month by the Allen Institute for Brain Science aims to catalog the development, structure and function of neural circuits in the brain at an unprecedented level of detail.

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Software profiles social interactions between mice

by  /  11 April 2012

A computerized video analysis tool can simultaneously track two mice and catalog their social interactions. The results were published 4 March Nature Methods.

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Blocking bullies

by  /  3 April 2012

Children with autism are bullied three times more than their typically developing siblings, according to research from the Interactive Autism Network.

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