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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: chromatin

August 2021
Illustration of brain showing overexcited and underexcited parts of the brain represented by jagged and loose squiggles.

Disruptions to brain’s ‘thermostat’ may underpin autism traits

by  /  18 August 2021

Mounting evidence suggests that autism often involves upsets in homeostatic plasticity, a set of processes neurons use to stabilize their activity. These disruptions result from a range of autism-linked mutations and may help to explain the condition’s famed heterogeneity.

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July 2021
Playful clay chromatin strand is not plugged in, there fore, not turned on

Autism’s link to chromatin remodeling, explained

by  /  6 July 2021

Many of the genes strongly linked to autism are involved in the remodeling of chromatin, the complex of DNA and proteins that makes up chromosomes. Scientists are just beginning to understand why.

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April 2021

Loss of CHD8 from cerebellum disrupts movements, not social behaviors

by  /  26 April 2021

Deleting the autism-linked gene CHD8 from specific cells in the cerebellum, a brain region important for movement, leads to motor deficits but does not alter social behaviors in mice.

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single celled zygote seen as a colorful cluster of dots, next to a four cell embryo, visualized in the same way.

Intact-cell sequencing lays bare new view of genome structure

by  /  22 April 2021

The technique enables researchers to sequence the DNA of an intact cell, providing a unique view of the genome’s organization inside the nucleus.

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A group of six images of fruit fly brains show networks in green and pink.

Poor sleep could be core feature of autism, related conditions

by  /  15 April 2021

Fruit flies with low expression of a gene linked to neurodevelopment have disrupted sleep, poor memory and altered social behavior.

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January 2021
Molecular model of histone protein which wraps up DNA strands.

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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Neurons show structural changes, seen in black and white.

Loss of a top autism gene may alter neuron structure

by  /  12 January 2021

Mutations in the autism-linked gene ASH1L change how neurons grow and develop.

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human and mouse cells.

Atlas pair profiles fetal gene expression, regulation in single cells

by  /  7 January 2021

A pair of new atlases that profile millions of cells across 15 organs offer an unparalleled look at gene activity during fetal development.

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lab mice

Mice with autism-related mutations show brain signaling imbalance

by  /  4 January 2021

Mutations in POGZ, a gene strongly linked to autism, lead to a signaling imbalance in multiple brain regions in mice, according to two new studies.

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August 2020
Series of micrographs showing neurons with Rett syndrome mutations lacking liquid compartments around DNA.

DNA droplets may be key to Rett syndrome, researchers say

by  /  27 August 2020

Mutations in the MECP2 gene, which are associated with autism and Rett syndrome, interfere with a cell’s ability to form droplets of DNA that silence gene expression.

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