A small fragment of RNA may regulate the expression of RORA, a gene implicated in many autism-related pathways, according to a study published 6 February in Scientific Reports.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Sequencing studies over the past few years have made a dramatic and unexpected discovery: Many of the mutations in individuals with autism are in genes that regulate chromatin, which helps package DNA in the cell nucleus, say Gerald Crabtree and Aryaman Shalizi.
Long pieces of RNA that do not code for protein have diverse and important roles in the cell and may contribute to autism risk, say Nikolaos Mellios and Mriganka Sur.
Autism researchers have high hopes for a new project called the First 1,000 Days of Life, which aims to follow 5,000 women and their babies from pregnancy through two years after birth.
Postmortem brains from people with autism have abnormal patterns of chemical tags on SHANK3, one of the strongest candidate genes for autism, according to a study published 23 November in Human Molecular Genetics.
Studies with the best quality ratings and the largest sample sizes showed no increased risk of autism for children born from assisted reproductive technologies, reports a review published in the December issue of Human Reproduction.
One of the largest genome-wide screens of methyl tags in postmortem brains has found that people with autism have three unique regions of methylation — chemical modifications that affect gene expression. The results were reported 3 September in Molecular Psychiatry.