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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: optogenetics

September 2021
Scientist Ethan Scott takes aim with a bow and arrow in his backyard.

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Ethan Scott

by  /  13 September 2021

Ethan Scott packs his lab with math, physics and computer science experts to decode sensory brain networks in zebrafish models of autism.

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July 2021
Ofer Yizhar in his lab, framed by rectangular window and a red background.

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Ofer Yizhar

by  /  26 July 2021

When Yizhar isn’t building new tools to study the neural circuits underlying autism and other complex conditions, you can find him playing the piano, shooting photographs or taking long runs in the desert.

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image shows slice of a mouse brain with genes highlighted

Method tracks neuron paths, gene expression simultaneously

by  /  21 July 2021

A new technique can reveal where thousands of neurons send their axons — and measure the cells’ RNA levels for dozens of genes at the same time — in the mouse brain. It could be used to profile neural circuits underlying autism.

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New optogenetics technique minimizes thermal damage to neurons

by  /  8 July 2021

Thanks to a new engineered protein for optogenetics experiments, researchers can stimulate neurons with less light than usual and avoid damaging brain tissue.

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June 2021
wireless optogenetic device glowing green on mouse brain.

Wireless optogenetic devices sync neurons among mice

by  /  17 June 2021

Researchers say they can synchronize two new devices and control neurons across 256 freely moving animals at once to study social behaviors.

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May 2021
Researcher in red plaid shirt and blue nitrile gloves holds a lab mouse fitted with a fiber optic cannula, a needle-shaped glass piece that goes into the mouse's brain surrounded by a metal sleeve to which researchers attach a fiber optic patch cord.

How artificial intelligence is shaking up animal behavior studies in autism

by  /  24 May 2021

Next-generation machine-learning tools are poised to upend how scientists study behavior in animal models of autism — and not everyone is happy about it.

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February 2021
Mouse brains show different brain regions lighting up

Ultrasound probe reveals brain circuit activity in living mice

by  /  18 February 2021

A new high-resolution imaging device tracks brain activity in awake mice, enabling researchers to map neural circuits across the entire brain.

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January 2021
Mouse brain slices shown in red

Vasopressin relieves social deficits in an autism mouse model

by  /  25 January 2021

Mice missing a copy of MAGEL2 have trouble discerning between a familiar mouse and an unfamiliar one; treating them with the social hormone vasopressin reverses this deficit.

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Heat map of mouse activity.

Circuit linking prefrontal cortex and brain’s relay station regulates social behavior in mice

by  /  11 January 2021

A set of neurons connecting the prefrontal cortex and the thalamus helps regulate social interactions in mice.

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September 2020
Neurons in a macaque cortex express parvalbumin in red.

Virus-based method manipulates inhibitory neurons in brains

by  /  9 September 2020

A new viral tool can selectively control different types of neurons that dampen brain activity in rodents, monkeys and people.

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