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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

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June 2011

Complex mathematics simplifies brain imaging

by  /  1 June 2011

A complex mathematical technique can improve the sensitivity of experiments that rely on brain imaging, allowing researchers to study how the brain responds to sequences of stimuli, according to a study published in the June issue of NeuroImage.

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May 2011

New tool links gene to function in zebrafish

by  /  25 May 2011

Researchers have devised a way to inactivate genes in zebrafish embryos, creating a collection of hundreds of mutant fish lines in which gene function can be explored. The technique was published online 8 May in Nature Methods.

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Imaging tool maps regions within amygdala

by  /  18 May 2011

A new method can distinguish between sub-regions of the amygdala, the deep nub of tissue that is involved in emotion processing and that shows abnormal activity in people with autism, according to a study published in the June issue of NeuroImage.

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Brain photos reveal multiple responses to single scene

by  /  11 May 2011

The brain collects information on an object’s orientation, direction and speed all at the same time, according to a study published 15 April in NeuroImage.

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Informatics links mouse mutations to autism

by  /  4 May 2011

Researchers can use bioinformatics tools to identify existing mutant mice that can model features of autism, according to a study published 21 March in the Journal of Biomedical Informatics.

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April 2011

Brain circuit map identifies local networks

by  /  27 April 2011

Neurons that respond to the same stimuli are grouped into sub-networks that can quickly communicate with each other, according to a study published 10 April in Nature.

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Researchers make neurons from people with schizophrenia

by  /  20 April 2011

Researchers have taken skin cells from individuals with schizophrenia, bathed them in chemical cocktails and coaxed them to develop into neurons, according to a paper published 13 April in Nature.

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Cell’s own machinery can deliver therapies to the brain

by  /  13 April 2011

Exosomes, the brain’s system for delivering and recycling molecules, can be manipulated to carry therapeutic fragments of RNA or DNA across the blood-brain barrier and into neurons. The ingenious new technique was published 20 March in Nature Biotechnology.

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March 2011

Researchers trace wiring in the brain

by  /  30 March 2011

Researchers have mapped the architecture of a brain circuit active during vision in the cerebral cortex — a region involved in memory and planning — they reported 10 March in Nature.

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Scientists zap anxiety circuit in mice

by  /  23 March 2011

By shining a beam of light on a single brain circuit, researchers can compel mice to overcome their natural fears and boldly explore a new space, according to a study published 9 March in Nature.

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