News / Toolbox

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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Getty Images / fotografixx

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.
News / Spotted
Week of JulyJul

Fake facilitation; third strike; Pokémon passion

by  /  22 July 2016
An autism researcher retracts her third paper in as many years, scientists write fraudulent reviews of their own papers, and Pokémon Go boosts social skills in children with autism.
Immune influence:   Diabetes is often accompanied by inflammation, which may trigger the production of certain antibodies in pregnant women. Ian Hooton / Getty Images

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.

Latest News

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

LiPo Ching / Getty Images

‘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.

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.

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 /

‘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.

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

Despite federal directive, Texas denies Medicaid coverage for autism therapy

by ,  /  8 July 2016

Jill Escher can talk knowledgeably for hours, and hours, about autism — about its prevalence, which genes and environmental factors may be involved and how brain development may go awry in the brains of children with the condition. Escher, 50, has no formal training in science, but she reads scientific papers, gives lectures at universities […]

Behavior boost: Lactobacillus reuteri, a bacterial species found in yogurt and probiotic supplements, normalizes social behavior in mice exposed to a high-fat diet in utero.Eye of Science  /  Science Source

Single microbe may restore social behaviors in mice

by  /  7 July 2016

A single species of bacteria reverses autism-like features in mice exposed to a high-fat diet in utero — but researchers question the findings’ relevance to people.

Chemical overload: The placenta (micrograph at left) responds to inflammation by shifting into overdrive, delivering a surplus of serotonin to the fetal brain. David M. Phillips / Science Source

Serotonin may mediate effects of infection in the womb

by  /  6 July 2016

Infection during pregnancy may blunt the growth of neurons in the fetus by boosting levels of the chemical messenger serotonin.

Like clockwork: Cells that express the paternal copy of the Angelman syndrome gene (top left) also tend to make the circadian clock protein BMAL (bottom left).

Tricks to treat Angelman syndrome may lie in ‘clock cells’

by  /  4 July 2016

A newly discovered phenomenon in cells that regulate the sleep-wake cycle may provide clues for how to treat two autism-related conditions.

Lynn Koenig / Getty Images

Many women, men with autism harm themselves

by  /  1 July 2016

Adults with autism, particularly women, deliberately hurt themselves much more often than other adults do.

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