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Spectrum: Autism Research News


October 2013

Genetics: Autism, epilepsy cases share mutations

by  /  15 October 2013

Mutations in GABRB3, a brain receptor linked to autism, are prevalent in severe childhood epilepsy, according to a study published 12 September in Nature.

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September 2013

In autism-related disorders, RNA turns out to be key

by  /  26 September 2013

An enzyme that may keep RNA tangle-free as it’s translated into protein is missing in some people with schizophrenia and learning difficulties. The enzyme also cooperates with the protein missing in fragile X syndrome to bind RNA, suggesting a role in protein synthesis. That’s the upshot from two studies published in the September Nature Neuroscience.

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August 2013

New resource catalogs RNA-binding sites of many proteins

by  /  12 August 2013

A new online database lists the likely RNA-binding sites of more than 8,000 proteins from 289 species. Researchers debuted the resource in the 11 July issue of Nature.

July 2013

Francesca Happe presents ‘fractionated triad’ model

24 July 2013

Watch the complete replay of Francesca Happé discussing how autism’s constellation of symptoms may have independent biological causes. Submit your own follow-up questions.

June 2013

Molecular mechanisms: Fragile X premutation proves toxic

by  /  18 June 2013

A mild form of the fragile X mutation produces an unusual protein that may trigger fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome, a neurodegenerative disorder, according to a study published 8 May in Neuron.


Kimberly Huber on synapse pruning in autism

26 June 2013

Watch the complete replay of Kimberly Huber discussing the role of autism-linked genes in the natural pruning of brain cell connections. Submit your own follow-up questions.

May 2013

Protein probe may diagnose fragile X syndrome

by  /  29 May 2013

Quick tests that detect the protein missing in fragile X syndrome can be used to screen newborns for the disorder and find treatments, according to two studies published in the past two months.


Small pieces of RNA may pave path to autism

by  /  21 May 2013

The discovery of microRNAs that regulate gene expression has changed our view of cellular biochemistry. It may also change our perception of neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism, says Peng Jin.

March 2013

Fragile X mutation may lead to noisy brain signals

by  /  28 March 2013

Researchers have uncovered a new role for the protein missing in fragile X syndrome — it regulates the release of neurotransmitters, chemical messengers in the brain, according to a mouse study published 20 February in Neuron.


Rho family of enzymes at crossroads of autism

by  /  12 March 2013

A number of autism risk factors converge on one cellular pathway: abnormal remodeling of the cell’s structural systems through the signaling protein Rho, says SFARI’s associate director for research, Alan Packer.

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