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Neurons from boys with autism grow unusually fast

by  /  28 July 2016

Cells derived from the skin of boys and men with autism share a host of unusual characteristics.

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Tremor trigger: Deleting MeCP2 (green) from a subset of neurons in the mouse brain (right) leads to tremors and anxiety.

Two types of neurons play key roles in Rett syndrome

by  /  27 July 2016
Manipulating MeCP2, the gene mutated in Rett syndrome, has revealed two neuron types as crucial contributors to the condition.
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Illustration by Jun Cen

For children with autism, multiple languages may be a boon

by  /  25 July 2016
Most children who learn more than one language gain valuable skills, and researchers say this may also be true for children with autism.
News / Toolbox
Mighty merger: New software can sift and sort pieces of gene expression data gleaned from a microarray (left).

Online tool can mix, match gene expression data

by  /  22 July 2016
A new resource helps biologists easily mine large troves of information about when and where genes are expressed.

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Super sharers:  A new registry enables researchers to access and analyze data from large numbers of people with dup15q syndrome.Westend61 / Getty Images
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Registry for autism-linked syndrome spurs new research

by  /  29 July 2016

Nine U.S. clinics are pooling their data to create a registry of people who have an extra copy of a region on chromosome 15 called 15q11-13, a genetic abnormality often found in people with autism.

Natalie Dunnege's son, Strazh, has autism. "He's really a good kid," Dunnege says. "But it's a lot to handle, especially as a single parent."  Sheraz Sadiq / KQED
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Single mom’s search for therapist foiled by insurance companies

by ,  /  28 July 2016

More than half the people who felt they needed help for mental health conditions last year never got it.

Getty Images / fotografixx
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Epilepsy in family members raises risk of autism

by  /  21 July 2016

A study of more than 85,000 people with epilepsy and their immediate relatives suggests that epilepsy and autism share biological roots.

Immune influence:   Diabetes is often accompanied by inflammation, which may trigger the production of certain antibodies in pregnant women. Ian Hooton / Getty Images
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Study links immune, metabolic theories of autism

by  /  20 July 2016

Rare antibodies associated with autism are unusually common among women who developed diabetes while pregnant with a child who has autism.

Powerhouse parent: Jill Escher wants researchers to study how environmental chemicals affect developing eggs and sperm.

LiPo Ching / Getty Images
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‘Science junkie’ bets big on autism’s environmental origins

by  /  18 July 2016

Jill Escher is on a mission to spur research into how chemicals in the environment may influence risk for autism.

Lit up: Light stimulates dopamine neurons in the brain’s reward center (red) and restores social behavior in mice.
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Autism gene wires social reward circuits in mouse brains

by  /  14 July 2016

Mice with mutations in SHANK3, a leading autism candidate, may lack the neural wiring that would compel them to seek social contact.

Group defense: T cells, and a molecule they release, may be important players in social behavior.
News

Key molecule may tie immune response to social behavior

by  /  13 July 2016

Molecules that protect the body from infection may be needed for mice to socialize with their peers, a finding that bolsters the link between the immune system and autism.

Lee Supak / iStock.com
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‘Convergence science’ has potential to accelerate research-to-product pipeline

by ,  /  13 July 2016

A few years ago, Elizabeth Jaffee, professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, probably wouldn’t have imagined that she would team up with an aerospace engineer to advance her research on cancer therapies.

Howdy, neighbor:  Genes separated by a large distance come together when DNA forms a three-dimensional structure.
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Mutated DNA loops make strange neighbors

by  /  11 July 2016

Too many or too few copies of a segment of chromosome 16 alters the three-dimensional organization of DNA, and affects hundreds of related genes.

Braulio De La Cruz sits with his son, Noah Leonardo. 
Courtesy of Braulio De La Cruz
News

Despite federal directive, Texas denies Medicaid coverage for autism therapy

by ,  /  8 July 2016

Nine U.S. clinics are pooling their data to create a registry of people who have an extra copy of a region of chromosome 15. The region, called 15q11-13, is a genetic abnormality frequently found in people with autism. Researchers described the resource yesterday at a conference in Silver Spring, Maryland, hosted by the Dup15q Alliance […]

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