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Spectrum: Autism Research News



From parental age to infection during pregnancy, environmental elements can influence autism risk.

April 2015

Rett mutation may lead to runaway inflammation

by  /  30 April 2015

The mutation that causes Rett syndrome may spark uncontrolled inflammation throughout the body and brain, suggests a study published last week. The findings may explain the syndrome’s wide range of symptoms, from seizures to gut problems.

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Monkey mother’s immune response changes her infant’s brain

by  /  27 April 2015

Monkeys whose mothers are infected with a mock virus while pregnant show abnormal branching of certain brain cells. The findings may help explain why infection during a woman’s pregnancy ups the risk of autism in her children.

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Week of AprilApr

Spotted: Newt’s plea; CRISPR caution

by  /  24 April 2015

Newt Gingrich wants to double spending on medical research, and Chinese researchers highlight the hazards of editing human genomes.


Diabetes during pregnancy ups child’s autism risk

by  /  24 April 2015

Children born to women who develop diabetes during the first or second trimester of pregnancy increase their risk of autism by 42 percent.


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.


Genes dwarf environment in autism’s origins, study says

by  /  6 April 2015

The genetic makeup of an individual plays much a bigger role than environmental factors in whether he or she develops autism, according to one of the largest twin studies to date.


Autism-linked DNA deletion may derail brain development

by  /  2 April 2015

Missing a swath of chromosome 16 with strong ties to autism disrupts proteins crucial for early brain development. The findings open the door to targeted interventions.

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New video test assesses toddlers’ subtle social growth

by  /  1 April 2015

A 20-minute test enlists parents in gauging a toddler’s social development by showing them a video of how a typically developing child acts.

March 2015

Age of parents explains little of surge in autism

by  /  31 March 2015

Increasing parental age accounted for just 2.7 percent of the rise in autism prevalence between 1994 and 2001, according to a study of New York City families published 17 March in Maternal and Child Health Journal.

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Magnetic beads map gene expression in single cells

by  /  25 March 2015

Newly developed microscopic beads give cells unique barcodes based on the cells’ gene expression patterns. This faster and cheaper system could help researchers study autism in cultured cells.