Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: epigenetics

April 2015

New data implicate unusually long genes in Rett syndrome

by  /  13 April 2015

Mutations in MeCP2, which cause Rett syndrome, boost the expression of long genes in the brain. The findings add to mounting evidence linking long genes to developmental disorders.

March 2015

Studies trace far-reaching effects of single autism gene

by  /  19 March 2015

Scientists peel back the layers of genetic complexity in autism, starting with the master regulator CHD8.


Clever new method coaxes chromatin from living tissues

by  /  18 March 2015

A new method allows researchers to extract chromatin — the DNA-protein complex that helps to regulate gene expression — from tissue samples weighing as little as 1 milligram.


Landscape of chemical tags paves way for autism studies

by  /  2 March 2015

In a feat that unites findings from 2,800 experiments in more than 100 types of cells, researchers have mapped the human epigenome — the many layers of code that turn genes on or off.

February 2015

Maternal infection exacerbates genes’ effect on autism

by  /  23 February 2015

Children with too many or too few copies of certain genes are more likely to have autism, as are children born to women who battled a severe infection while pregnant. These seemingly disparate risk factors may work together to worsen autism symptoms.

January 2015

Method charts lifetime expression of DNA in brain

by  /  21 January 2015

A new database that maps changes in gene expression in the prefrontal cortex shows that autism-linked genes are expressed differently than other genes through six stages of life.


Technique reveals convoluted curves of chromosomes

by  /  14 January 2015

A new method is faster and more accurate than previous methods at revealing the complex folds that help to fit nearly six feet of DNA into the tiny nucleus of a cell.

December 2014

Genetic encyclopedia highlights human-mouse differences

by  /  24 December 2014

Although mice and humans have many genes in common, a new catalog highlights significant differences in how these genes are regulated. This resource, dubbed mouse ENCODE, clarifies the extent to which mice can accurately model complex human diseases such as autism.

November 2014

Mutation boosts paternal age’s autism-like effects in mice

by  /  19 November 2014

Mice born to older males with mutations in PAX6 — a gene involved in brain development — vocalize less than those with younger dads. The unpublished findings, presented today at the 2014 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C., suggest how genes and paternal age can work together to trigger symptoms.

September 2014

New clues connect altered patterns of DNA tags to autism

by  /  16 September 2014

Methyl tags on DNA are distributed differently in postmortem brains from people with autism than in control brains, and mouse pups can inherit altered methylation from their older fathers, report two new studies.