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Genes

Rare or common, inherited or spontaneous, mutations form the core of autism risk.

June 2021

CRISPR tool creates long-lasting epigenome alterations

by  /  11 June 2021

A new spin on the classic CRISPR gene-editing tool can alter the genome’s chemical tags and suppress gene expression for months.

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Illustration of transporter mice in brain maze

After 60 years, scientists are still trying to crack a mysterious serotonin-autism link

by  /  4 June 2021

The high levels of serotonin seen in the blood of some autistic people have confounded scientists for more than half a century. Despite so little progress, some researchers refuse to give up.

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Brown lab mice being handled by researchers.

Deleting rare autism gene leads to physical, social differences in mice

by  /  3 June 2021

Loss of the gene KMT5B stunts growth in male mice and leads to social difficulties in female mice, a new study suggests.

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Brain activity patterns may distinguish girls with autism

by  /  2 June 2021

Atypical patterns of neuronal activity and gene expression in the striatum may characterize autism in girls, according to a new study.

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May 2021

Stimulant restores cell signaling, eases behavior issues in animals missing autism gene

by  /  28 May 2021

Worms and zebrafish missing both copies of the gene CHD7 have disrupted cellular signaling, a dearth of inhibitory neurons and behavior changes — all of which are reversed by the stimulant drug ephedrine.

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DNA helix inside the human body

Autism genetics, explained

by  /  28 May 2021

The more scientists dig into DNA, the more intricate its contribution to autism seems to be. Here, we unravel the complex genetics of autism.

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Illustration of a researcher trying to navigate sea of genomic data.

Family approach yields new autism-linked genes

by  /  21 May 2021

About one-third of the HNRNP gene family’s 33 members may be associated with neurodevelopmental conditions, including autism.

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Q&A with Sébastien Jacquemont and Clara Moreau: Why brain imaging signatures for autism are so elusive

by  /  20 May 2021

The field of neuroimaging will need to combine two strategies before it can find patterns of brain activity or structure unique to autism, the researchers say.

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Microglia activity seen in red, green and blue.

Autism mutation may cause big brain via ‘don’t eat me’ signals

by  /  17 May 2021

An autism-linked mutation could make the brain grow unusually large by prompting cells to express a chemical signal better known for its connection to cancer.

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Autism-linked protein screen reveals hundreds of new interactions

by  /  14 May 2021

Researchers have uncovered more than 1,200 new protein-protein interactions involving proteins coded for by autism-linked genes.

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