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The Brain

Charting the structure and function of the brain’s many circuits may unravel autism’s mysteries.

July 2021

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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Micrograph showing fewer neurons in fetal mice whose mothers have only one functional copy of PTEN.

Maternal genetics may contribute to autism-like traits in mice via inflammation

by  /  2 July 2021

A mouse model hints that genes linked to inflammation in some women may increase the likelihood of autism in their children.

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June 2021
Dr. Huda Zoghbi portrait

Huda Zoghbi: Taking genetic inquiry to the next level

by  /  25 June 2021

Over the course of a career spanning more than three decades, Huda Zoghbi has won almost every major biology and neuroscience research award that exists. More than 20 years since she discovered the gene behind Rett syndrome, she remains laser focused on unlocking the condition’s secrets and finding effective treatments.

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Mouse brain cells seen in red

Autism-linked mutation may disrupt brain cell migration

by  /  23 June 2021

Mutations in CUL3, a leading autism gene, may disrupt the movements of neurons during development; correcting this misdirection could lead to an autism therapy.

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Micrographs of mouse astrocytes with high levels of inflammatory molecules.

Immune-regulating cells contribute to autism-like traits in mice

by  /  21 June 2021

The link between autism and prenatal exposure to an immune response may involve altered levels of immune cells, according to a new study.

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Mouse neuron recordings showing different levels of activity before and after an encounter with an unfamiliar mouse.

Neural network captures noisy neurons in autism mouse model

by  /  18 June 2021

Mice missing the autism-linked gene SHANK3 use more neurons to engage in social behavior than control mice do, reflecting a more disorganized, less efficient brain signaling network.

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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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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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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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Mini probe records neuronal activity in mouse brain over months

by  /  1 June 2021

A new miniature iteration of a popular probe enables researchers to record activity at thousands of sites across the mouse brain and track the activity of individual neurons over months — providing long-term recording at an unprecedented scale.

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