Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

Visual vocabulary: In a test of verbal ability, children point to a picture that represents a word.
 Amy Boelé

Test paints quick picture of intelligence in autism

by  /  24 March 2017

A picture-based test is a fast and flexible way to assess intelligence in large studies of people with autism.

Previous articles

March 2017
Shaping up: The structure of a protein produced by a computer program mirrors the actual structure as revealed by X-ray crystallography.
News / Toolbox

Tool narrows search for elusive protein structures

by  /  17 March 2017

A new computer program can predict the 3-D structure of proteins at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.

Genetic puzzle: A new approach for finding risk variants considers data from multiple generations of a family.Hero Images / Getty Images
News / Toolbox

New method taps family trees for clues about conditions

by  /  10 March 2017

Asking participants in genetic databases about their family’s medical history can help researchers uncover genetic variants tied to conditions such as autism.

Monkey minds: Two different brain imaging techniques reveal the brain of a rhesus macaque at 2 weeks, 3 months and 6 months of age.
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New atlases chart early brain growth in monkeys

by  /  3 March 2017

A collection of brain scans from monkeys aged 2 weeks to 12 months reveals how their brain structures and nerve tracts develop over time.

February 2017
Seeing eye to eye: A camera embedded in a pair of eyeglasses could allow researchers to track a child’s gaze outside of a lab or clinic.
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Wearable camera captures eye contact in children with autism

by  /  24 February 2017

A camera embedded in a pair of eyeglasses can reliably gauge a child’s tendency to look another person in the eye.

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Shine on: A mouse sports an implanted wireless device that stimulates neurons with light when it is switched on (red light).
News / Toolbox

With bright tricks, light leaves brain forever changed

by  /  17 February 2017

Using flashes of light, scientists can spark seizures, tweak cell junctions and motivate mice from afar.

Risk ranking: A gene that gets a high score (depicted here relative to a dotted line) from a new algorithm is strongly linked to autism.
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Method reads brain cell signatures to reveal risky mutations

by  /  10 February 2017

A new approach ranks genes’ ties to autism based on their expression patterns in different types of brain cells.

Clear view: Neurons in the outermost layer of a mouse brain are visible through a large glass window in the animal’s skull.
News / Toolbox

‘Crystal skull’ provides panoramic view of mouse brain

by  /  3 February 2017

A curved glass replacement for the top of a mouse's skull lets researchers spy on the activity of more than 1 million neurons.

January 2017
Copper control: A coil of copper wire (blue area, right) gives researchers more control over the neurons they activate (red) than does a conventional electrode (blue triangle, left).
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New stimulator can target small set of mouse neurons

by  /  27 January 2017

A newly developed magnetic coil gives researchers a stable, precise way of probing the function of neural circuits.

Green galaxy: Star-shaped cells called astrocytes glow in the brains of a new strain of mice.
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Mice may illuminate workings of star-shaped brain cells

by  /  20 January 2017

Two new strains of mice allow researchers to monitor and manipulate brain cells called astrocytes.

Matrix method: A molecular map shows the connections between an autism-linked protein (red) and its partners. InBio Platform ™
News / Toolbox

Online atlas reveals huge array of protein connections

by  /  13 January 2017

A new web-based tool charts the myriad contacts among human proteins.


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