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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: axons

August 2013

Brain’s immune cells show intriguing links to autism

by  /  13 August 2013

Emerging evidence indicates that microglia, the brain’s immune cells, are altered in some individuals with autism, raising questions about their role in brain development, says Beth Stevens.

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June 2013

New imaging techniques probe brain’s long-range connections

by  /  10 June 2013

New techniques to scan the brain can produce exquisitely detailed views of white matter, which contains the long cellular fibers that connect neurons. Many of the advances are emerging from the Human Connectome Project, a five-year push to map the brain’s wiring.

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May 2013

Networking tips

by  /  28 May 2013

It is possible to discover relationships between autism genes simply by reanalyzing existing datasets, says Alan Packer.

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January 2013

Fluorescent fish help track mitochondrial motion

by  /  16 January 2013

Fish engineered to express fluorescent proteins allow researchers to follow the paths of migrating mitochondria, the cell’s energy producers, according to a study published 14 November in The Journal of Neuroscience.

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December 2012

Genetics: Searching for answers

by  /  6 December 2012

Solving the riddle of autism genetics will require looking beyond the growing list of candidate genes to epigenetics and personalized medicine.

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November 2012

New technique prepares mouse brains for mapping

by  /  28 November 2012

Researchers have developed a method to fix and stain intact mouse brains for electron microscopy, according to a study published 21 October in Nature Methods. The technique allows them to trace the paths of neurons as they project across the brain.

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Molecular mechanisms: Autism protein connects neurons

by  /  28 November 2012

An autism-linked protein called CASPR2 promotes the development of dendrites, the bushy structures atop neurons that receive signals from other neurons, according to a study published 30 October in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Lowering CASPR2 levels leads to sparse dendrites and few synapses, the junctions between neurons.

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Virtual brain suggests neural connections form randomly

by  /  7 November 2012

Researchers are assembling a virtual reconstruction of the brain by piecing together simulations of thousands of neurons, they reported 16 October in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They used this model to show that most junctions between neurons form randomly and not as the result of chemical signals.

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October 2012

Placenta plays potent role in autism risk

by ,  /  2 October 2012

As the central organ regulating maternal-fetal interactions, the placenta is perfectly positioned to mediate environmental and genetic risk factors during prenatal development. It may also relay risk factors for autism to the fetus, says Paul Patterson.

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August 2012

New device rapidly identifies worms with mutations

by  /  29 August 2012

A new tool can sort through a population of mutant nematodes and identify those with altered neuronal connections, according to a study published 19 August in Nature Methods.

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