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The Brain

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

December 2019
Mouse sniffing the air
News

Mice with autism mutation may be indifferent to social scents

by  /  5 December 2019

Neurons in mice that lack an autism gene called CNTNAP2 do not differentiate well between social and nonsocial smells — an issue that seems to stem from haphazard neuronal firing.

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Two sides of a 3D human brain showing different areas highlighted in various colors
News

Brains of autistic people show unusual left-right symmetry

by  /  4 December 2019

The hemispheres in autistic people’s brains are more symmetrical than those of their typical peers, but it is unclear what this difference means.

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November 2019
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Study links large set of common genes to brain structure

by  /  29 November 2019

A new analysis of nearly 40,000 people pinpoints 48 genetic variants that may determine the volume of certain brain areas.

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Micrograph of mouse brain showing transplanted human microglia
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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.

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micrographs of blood vessels in the brain
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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
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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.

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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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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.
News

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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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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