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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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The Brain

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

November 2022
Scan of a zebrafish brain showing neuron activity.

Decoding sensory brain networks: A quick take at SfN with Ethan Scott

by  /  15 November 2022

Scott describes his work on sound processing differences in the brains of zebrafish that model fragile X syndrome.

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Illustration of multipolar neurons.

Consistent, convergent pathways link two forms of autism

by  /  15 November 2022

People with dup15q syndrome and those with idiopathic autism have similar patterns of altered gene expression in early brain development and later in life.

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A grid of clocks placed over a colorful gene sequence.

Autism-linked genes clock daily oscillations

by  /  14 November 2022

Rhythmic variations in the genes’ brain expression levels may help explain the sleep problems that often accompany the condition.

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Three-dimensional structure of cells in the cerebellum.

Flexible genomic architecture undergoes major redesigns during cerebellum development

by  /  13 November 2022

A new atlas reveals how the structural shake-ups within a cell’s genome differ by cell type and brain region over time.

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Two marmosets looking in different directions.

Naturally chimeric marmosets present opportunities for autism research

by  /  13 November 2022

Findings on microglia and other brain cell types bolster the animal’s validity as a model system for the condition.

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Single astrocyte on black background.

Mouse studies cast astrocytes as stars of sensory perception

by  /  13 November 2022

Data from two separate research teams suggest the cells are key to sensory hypersensitivity in fragile X syndrome.

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Pink geometric brain against a blue background.

Autism brain signature most pronounced in sensory areas

by  /  2 November 2022

An analysis of 11 cortical regions shows anterior-to-posterior shifts in gene expression linked to autism.

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Three scans of zebrafish brains.

Zebrafish point to new gene involved in brain overgrowth, autism

by  /  1 November 2022

The gene, YTHDF2, has not previously been linked to autism.

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October 2022
Image of a synthetic mouse embryo.

Lab-grown ‘embryoids’ offer new window into gene-trait relationships

by  /  26 October 2022

The developmental models have advantages over natural embryos and other synthetic models, such as organoids, but present technical and ethical challenges.

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Conceptual illustration of a group of brain scans.

Boosting brain power: A conversation with Damien Fair

by  /  25 October 2022

Collecting brain scans from thousands of people can be challenging in autism research; data-sharing and collaborative efforts can help drive results that stand up to statistical scrutiny.

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