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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

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

Online atlas reveals huge array of protein connections

by  /  13 January 2017

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

Previous articles

January 2017
Tissue tiers:  Intestinal organoids have layered folds (left) like those in the human gut, and working neurons (right, green).
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Neurons talk to muscle cells in tiny test-tube intestine

by  /  6 January 2017

A new method allows researchers to transform stem cells into miniature intestines with a working nervous system.

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December 2016
Inside look: A custom laser supplies wide-angle shots of neurons in mice.
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Pulsing laser lights up networks of neurons in moving mice

by  /  23 December 2016

A new method allows researchers to watch thousands of neurons firing in concert in the brains of living mice.

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Easy listening:  A flexible device (below) hugs the brain's curved surface and detects neuronal activity (left).
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Supple sensor picks up neuron chatter in human brain

by  /  16 December 2016

A flexible electrode array can eavesdrop on neurons in people without damaging brain tissue.

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neurons
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Device displays mouse brain activity in three dimensions

by  /  9 December 2016

A modified version of an existing imaging technique creates crisp images of neurons communicating in living mice.

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Photo by Anna Mirgos
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Cozy cage offers natural setting for mice to socialize

by  /  6 December 2016

New cages for mice mimic the animals’ natural burrows, providing a realistic environment for studies of social behavior.

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November 2016
Cells selected:  In this cross-section of a mouse brain, nerve fibers infected with a virus glow green.
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By hacking cells’ DNA, virus traces brain activity patterns

by  /  25 November 2016

A mutant virus that infiltrates neurons and delivers genes to the nucleus can illuminate brain connections.

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video game screen view
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Fish game catches cognitive problems in children

by  /  9 November 2016

A video game that involves reacting to colored fish can help researchers spot subtle attention problems in children with certain conditions.

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Special delivery: Viruses ferry the gene for the light-sensitive protein opsin (green) to neurons using a DNA guide (red).Pitt Health Sciences / Cell
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Light activates reward circuits in monkey brains

by  /  4 November 2016

A new method uses flashes of light to stimulate specific sets of neurons in monkey brains.

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October 2016
Using CRISPR to switch on specific genes makes mouse skin cells morph into neurons.
News / Toolbox

CRISPR hacks expand uses of gene-editing toolbox

by  /  28 October 2016

Tweaks to the popular gene-editing tool allow researchers to forge neurons from skin, swap the chemical tags on genes, and more.

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boy reading book under covers with flashlight
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Tests unmask key traits in people with intellectual disability

by  /  21 October 2016

A set of seven standard tests can accurately assess cognitive capacities in people with various types of intellectual disability.

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