The National Children’s Study, a decade-old effort to track children’s health from birth to age 21, is undergoing radical restructuring to cut costs. The streamlined version of the project has left scientists and autism advocacy groups concerned that the study will not provide the answers they had hoped.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
In families that have more than one child with autism, children who are born later have lower intelligence scores than their older siblings do, according to research published 11 November in PLoS ONE.
Researchers have identified several harmful autism-linked mutations in a family of proteins that regulate the expression of various genes, they reported 10 October in Autism Research.
The brains of individuals with autism express low levels of genes involved in metabolism and protein assembly, according to a postmortem study published 12 September in PLoS One.
The sperm of old mice has an unusual epigenome, the profile of chemical modifications to the underlying DNA code, according to a poster presented Saturday at the 2012 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in New Orleans. The findings suggest an explanation for the so-called paternal age effect in autism.
Genes and the environment each influence the role of the other in determining the risk of developing autism. Genetics can determine how susceptible one is to the environment, and environmental factors can influence gene expression and introduce mutations, says immunologist Janine LaSalle.