Investors pour money into ‘brain medicines,’ and people with autism debate the need for a cure.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
From parental age to infection during pregnancy, environmental elements can influence autism risk.
Researchers increasingly use mice to investigate the role of gut microbes in autism and other conditions, but there are significant anatomical and other differences between mice and men, cautions a new review.
Fetal mice that have too many neurons grow to show social deficits and repetitive behaviors. The finding, reported 11 December in Cell Reports, debuts a mouse model of autism that’s based on a biological abnormality seen in some people with the disorder.
A new method is faster and more accurate than previous methods at revealing the complex folds that help to fit nearly six feet of DNA into the tiny nucleus of a cell.
Although mice and humans have many genes in common, a new catalog highlights significant differences in how these genes are regulated. This resource, dubbed mouse ENCODE, clarifies the extent to which mice can accurately model complex human diseases such as autism.
An analysis of genes expressed in the postmortem brains of people with autism has identified three molecular pathways linked to the disorder. The findings, published 10 December in Nature Communications, add to mounting evidence that the myriad causes of autism converge on common biological processes.
To optimize the search for autism genes, researchers should collect large numbers of sequences — but the sequences need to be of the right kind, says Michael Ronemus.
Each child with autism is different from the next. One approach rapidly gaining momentum makes sense of this diversity by grouping children together based on their genetics, then looking for patterns in their symptoms. The long-term aim: personalized treatments for each subtype of autism.