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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: epigenetics

August 2014

Age alters patterns of chemical tags on sperm DNA

by  /  18 August 2014

The configuration of methyl groups that modify DNA in sperm change as men get older. These alterations may help explain why children of older fathers are at increased risk for neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism.

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July 2014

Molecular mechanisms: Patterns of DNA tags altered in autism

by  /  8 July 2014

Children with autism have atypical patterns of epigenetic modifications — chemical tags on DNA that influence gene expression, suggests a study published 29 May in PLOS Genetics.

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Genetics: Changes in gene expression linked to father’s age

by  /  1 July 2014

Mice with older fathers have different gene expression patterns in their brains than do mice with younger fathers, reports a study published 23 March in Molecular Autism. Many of the differences involve genes linked to autism.

May 2014

Genetics: Extra copy of Rett gene blocks neuron growth

by  /  20 May 2014

Having one too many copies of MeCP2, the Rett syndrome gene, may block the growth of neuronal branches by interfering with the production of small pieces of RNA, according to a study published 10 March in Developmental Cell.


Twin study set to explore autism, attention deficit overlap

by  /  16 May 2014

A Swedish twin study plans to search for the shared genetic and environmental origins of autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which are often mistaken for each other.

April 2014

Molecular mechanisms: Gene marker may alter autism brains

by  /  15 April 2014

In the brains of people with autism, certain genes are suppressed by a chemical tag that increases binding to MeCP2, the protein implicated in Rett syndrome. The findings were published 21 January in Translational Psychiatry.

March 2014

Genetics: MicroRNA may suppress autism gene expression

by  /  25 March 2014

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.


Emerging importance of chromatin in autism risk

by ,  /  18 March 2014

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.

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RNA binds to fragile X gene, shutting it down

by  /  13 March 2014

Misplaced pieces of RNA bind and disable the gene responsible for fragile X syndrome, leading to the disorder, according to a study published 28 February in Science.


No longer junk: Role of long noncoding RNAs in autism risk

by ,  /  4 March 2014

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.