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The Brain

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

March 2021
News

Broken protein bridge linked to Rett syndrome traits

by  /  1 March 2021

Altering a protein linked to Rett syndrome so that it cannot bind to a methylation tag in neurons results in Rett-like traits in mice.

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February 2021
Oil and water with colors behind: blue, green, yellow and red.
Opinion / Q&A

How microscopic ‘condensates’ in cells might contribute to autism

by  /  23 February 2021

A controversial idea about how cells compartmentalize their contents into droplets — like beads of oil in water — could be key to understanding autism, says Julie Forman-Kay.

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Oligodendrocyte gene grouping showing network of blue lines connecting the gene names on reddish bubbles.
News

Differing gene functions across species may pose problems for autism models

by  /  22 February 2021

Misaligned gene expression maps suggest that some autism-linked genes play distinct roles in mouse and human brains.

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Singing zebra finches
News

Autism gene interference silences song memory in birds

by  /  19 February 2021

Muffling expression of an autism-linked gene in a key song-related area of the brain renders young zebra finches unable to learn songs from older birds.

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Mouse brains show different brain regions lighting up
News / Toolbox

Ultrasound probe reveals brain circuit activity in living mice

by  /  18 February 2021

A new high-resolution imaging device tracks brain activity in awake mice, enabling researchers to map neural circuits across the entire brain.

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Man reaches into cabinet while a woman looks on
News

Single neurons may power key ‘theory of mind’ skills

by  /  8 February 2021

A subset of brain cells signal when someone tries to infer another person’s thoughts, according to a new study.

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Serotonin proteins
News

Sensor helps scientists spy on serotonin activity in mice in real time

by  /  5 February 2021

A glowing protein tracks serotonin levels and location in the brains of living mice and could yield clues to the neurotransmitter’s role in autism.

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January 2021
Portrait of André Fenton.
Multimedia / Webinars

Webinar: André Fenton on rethinking dysfunction in fragile X model mice

10 February 2021

On 10 February, André Fenton spoke about rethinking dysfunction in fragile X model mice.

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Mouse brain slices shown in red
News

Vasopressin relieves social deficits in an autism mouse model

by  /  25 January 2021

Mice missing a copy of MAGEL2 have trouble discerning between a familiar mouse and an unfamiliar one; treating them with the social hormone vasopressin reverses this deficit.

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Molecular model of histone protein which wraps up DNA strands.
News

New condition hints at structural protein’s role in autism

by  /  22 January 2021

Mutations in genes that encode a histone, which gives structure to chromosomes, can lead to developmental delay and congenital anomalies.

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