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The Brain

Charting the structure and function of the brain’s many circuits may unravel autism’s mysteries.

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Micrograph of mouse brain showing transplanted human microglia

Chimeric mouse model aids study of brain’s immune cells

by  /  15 November 2019
A new technique allows researchers to transplant human microglia into mouse brains and better study the association between these cells and autism.
News
micrographs of blood vessels in the brain

Surplus of immune cells may mark brains of autistic people

by  /  11 November 2019
Blood vessels in the brains of more than half of autistic people have an unusually large number of T cells.
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Neurons in zebrafish spinal motor circuit

New technique follows single neurons from birth to brain circuit

by  /  1 November 2019
A new technique lets researchers watch brain circuits as they're being built, starting from the individual neurons birth.
October 2019
Neurons inside mouse brain are highlighted in a 3D view
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New database tracks more than a thousand mouse neurons

by  /  25 October 2019

A new resource that traces individual neurons in the mouse brain may reveal how distant brain regions communicate.

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Group of 6 brains show sections colored differently
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Brain scans from one person build reliable map of brain activity

by  /  24 October 2019

Mapping brain activity in one person doing multiple tasks creates a more accurate picture of the brain than averaging the brain activity of multiple people doing a single task.

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Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) showing several unmyelinated (green) and myelinated (green with blue border) axons. Schwann cell cytoplasm is red and a nucleus (bottom left) is yellow. The pink lines are the basement membranes.
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Loss of insulation on neurons may contribute to autism

by  /  23 October 2019

Genes involved in the formation of myelin, a fatty substance that sheathes neurons, are altered in autistic people and in several mouse models.

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Mitochondrion, coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM). Mitochondria are a type of organelle found in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. They oxidise sugars and fats to produce energy in a process called respiration. A mitochondrion has two membranes, a smooth outer membrane and a folded inner membrane. The folds of the inner membrane are called cristae, and it is here that the chemical reactions to produce energy take place. Magnification: x62,800 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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Leaky mitochondria may play central role in fragile X syndrome

by  /  23 October 2019

Some traits of fragile X syndrome may be due to problems with mitochondria, the cell’s energy factories.

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In brain imaging studies of autism, location may alter results

by  /  23 October 2019

A new analysis hints at the source of the rampant inconsistency among brain imaging studies in autism: significant differences among study sites.

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Group of images of neurons glow green
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New technique records neuronal teamwork in live mice

by  /  23 October 2019

A new imaging technique detects specific groups of firing neurons in the brains of moving mice, enabling scientists to study brain activity linked to a particular behavior.

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Group of four organoid images
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Mass-produced organoids hint at diversity of autism

by  /  23 October 2019

Researchers have analyzed thousands of brain organoids derived from six autistic people, gaining the potential to rapidly screen drugs.

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Sound sensitivity may hinder autistic people’s ability to communicate

by  /  23 October 2019

People with autism process the pitch and emotional tone in speech differently than their neurotypical peers — which may make it harder for them to pick up on nuances of social communication.

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Neurons in a fish glow green.
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Erasable sensor of brain activity could reveal roots of social behavior

by  /  23 October 2019

Researchers unveiled a reversible new technique for labeling active neurons in freely moving animals.

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Small child with fever has his temperature checked
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Fever’s immune effect on brain may ease autism traits

by  /  23 October 2019

An immune molecule produced during a fever improves sociability in three mouse models of autism.

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