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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: evolution

July 2012

Molecular mechanisms: FMRP target linked to cognitive skills

by  /  11 July 2012

The protein missing in people with fragile X syndrome may activate the expression of a signaling protein dubbed NOS1 during prenatal development of brain regions involved in language and social skills, according to a study published 11 May in Cell.

October 2011

Fast-evolving gene is key player in brain development

by  /  14 October 2011

A gene that changed rapidly after the human genome diverged from that of Neanderthals plays a critical role in brain development, according to unpublished results presented Thursday at the International Congress of Human Genetics in Montreal, Canada.

September 2011

The big sleep

by  /  2 September 2011

A new review suggests that sleep problems in neurodevelopmental disorders don’t just reflect underlying weaknesses in neural circuitry; they actively intensify these deficits.

July 2011

Lonely hunters

by  /  8 July 2011

Cognitive traits associated with autism may have helped our ancestors survive, according to a fascinating new study. But those traits are no longer an advantage.

April 2011

An ape with ‘autism’

by  /  15 April 2011

Similarities between us and our closest ape relatives — chimpanzees and bonobos — have shaped our understanding of what it means to be human. The latest surprise is Teco, a young bonobo who shows behaviors that look suspiciously similar to those associated with autism.

January 2011

Genetics: Spontaneous mutations lead to mental retardation

by  /  3 January 2011

Spontaneous mutations that change a single DNA base account for a large proportion of cases of unexplained mental retardation, according to a study published in the December Nature Genetics.

October 2010

New technique maps mutation-rich regions

by  /  28 October 2010

Researchers have mapped unique identifiers in the regions around human genes that are at risk for duplication or deletion, allowing precise sequencing of nearly 1,000 genes for the first time, according to a paper published today in Science.

September 2010

Genetics: Common mutation linked to risk of mental disorders

by  /  27 September 2010

A common variation within a region on chromosome 16 puts a large proportion of the general population at risk for intellectual disability, according to a study published in August in Nature Genetics.

May 2010

Darwinian emotion

by  /  27 May 2010

Charles Darwin performed what may be the world’s first study of how people interpret and understand the emotions of others, according to a paper published in the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences.


Williams syndrome precludes racial bias, study finds

by  /  20 May 2010

Children with Williams syndrome — a rare genetic disorder that leads to mental retardation and overt friendliness — hold stereotypes based on gender, but not race, according to a report published in Current Biology. Because those with Williams syndrome don’t have social fear, the study suggests racial stereotypes are based partly on fear.