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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Environment

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

April 2015

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.

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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.

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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.

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The social network: How everyday interactions shape autism

by  /  23 March 2015

A new study is the first rigorous test of a controversial idea: that the everyday interactions between caregiver and child can shape the course of autism.

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Studies trace far-reaching effects of single autism gene

by  /  19 March 2015

Scientists peel back the layers of genetic complexity in autism, starting with the master regulator CHD8.
 

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Clever new method coaxes chromatin from living tissues

by  /  18 March 2015

A new method allows researchers to extract chromatin — the DNA-protein complex that helps to regulate gene expression — from tissue samples weighing as little as 1 milligram.

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Landscape of chemical tags paves way for autism studies

by  /  2 March 2015

In a feat that unites findings from 2,800 experiments in more than 100 types of cells, researchers have mapped the human epigenome — the many layers of code that turn genes on or off.

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February 2015

Maternal infection exacerbates genes’ effect on autism

by  /  23 February 2015

Children with too many or too few copies of certain genes are more likely to have autism, as are children born to women who battled a severe infection while pregnant. These seemingly disparate risk factors may work together to worsen autism symptoms.

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