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Spectrumnews.org: Repository ties mutations to traits in Phelan-McDermid syndrome

Spectrumnews.org: Repository ties mutations to traits in Phelan-McDermid syndrome

Gathering information: A digital repository contains medical records and genetic data from 623 people with Phelan-McDermid syndrome.

cunfek / Getty Images

A new database details the genetic mutations associated with Phelan-McDermid syndrome, along with the behavioral outcomes of people with those mutations1.

The Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Data Network allows scientists to explore

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Spectrumnews.org: Anxiety in autism

Spectrumnews.org: Anxiety in autism

News The latest developments in autism research.

Profiles Portraits of scientists who are making a mark on autism research.

Toolbox Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

Spotted A roundup of autism papers and media mentions you may have missed.

Opinion Conversations on the science of autism

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Spectrumnews.org: Two drugs ease features of autism syndromes in mice

Spectrumnews.org: Two drugs ease features of autism syndromes in mice

Wacky wiring: Having too much MECP2 leads to numerous changes in the brain, including a surplus of neuronal junctions.

Courtesy of Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao

Drugs that block certain brain enzymes could help treat two conditions associated with autism, a new mouse study suggests1.

The study identified enzymes that regulate levels of

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Spectrumnews.org: To partner with autism community, welcome dissenting opinions

Spectrumnews.org: To partner with autism community, welcome dissenting opinions

Editor’s Note

Spectrum’s house style is to refer to ‘people with autism’ rather than ‘autistic people.’ But we made an exception in this instance, because the author strongly prefers identity-first language.

It is rare these days to find an autism researcher who does not proclaim the value of advice

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Spectrumnews.org: Despite dearth of data, firms sell brain training as autism antidote

Spectrumnews.org: Despite dearth of data, firms sell brain training as autism antidote

On the website of the company Neurocore, an illustration of an anthropomorphized human brain, complete with hopeful eyes and a wide smile, is pumping iron. “A stronger brain makes anything possible,” says the tagline next to the cheery brain.

This concept — body-building for the brain — is the premise behind

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Spectrumnews.org: Droplet technique probes gene expression in brain tissue

Spectrumnews.org: Droplet technique probes gene expression in brain tissue

Colorful clusters: A new method analyzes gene expression to identify more than a dozen cell types in human brain tissue.

A new method offers an efficient way to examine gene expression in individual cells from postmortem brain tissue1.

Scientists typically measure gene expression by looking at messenger RNA (mRNA), the

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Spectrumnews.org: Researchers rally to save monkeys on hurricane-ravaged island

Spectrumnews.org: Researchers rally to save monkeys on hurricane-ravaged island

Feeding frenzy: Julio Resto, lead caretaker on Cayo Santiago, dumps a bag of monkey chow. The storm leveled feeding corrals on the island. 

Courtesy of Bonn Aure

Many of the monkeys living on Cayo Santiago, an island off Puerto Rico, are likely to have survived Hurricane Maria, which pummeled the island on 20 September. But

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Spectrumnews.org: Scan of whole genomes ties regulatory regions to autism risk

Spectrumnews.org: Scan of whole genomes ties regulatory regions to autism risk

Loss of control: Some children with autism have two or more spontaneous mutations in DNA regions that regulate autism genes.

iStock / kate_sept2004

Children with autism have an excess of spontaneous mutations in DNA that controls the expression of autism genes, a new analysis suggests1. This finding contradicts similar analyses from

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Spectrumnews.org: Maternal infection may trigger autism traits via neuronal 'patches'

Spectrumnews.org: Maternal infection may trigger autism traits via neuronal 'patches'

Hyperactive hubs: Areas of excitable neurons mark the brains of mice exposed to inflammation in utero.

Patches of overactive neurons in the brains of mice exposed to inflammation in the womb may lead to autism-like features in the mice, a new study suggests1. Treating pregnant mice with an antibiotic prevents

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Spectrumnews.org: Spectrum photo contest

Spectrumnews.org: Spectrum photo contest

Spectrum photo contest | Spectrum | Autism Research News Color cascade: Different nerve tracts glow green and purple in a transparent mouse brain.

Ali Ertürk

Hey scientists, send us your best science photos from 2017! Winning images will be featured in a slide show in our 2017 Year in review issue.

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Spectrumnews.org: Revised definition of 'clinical trials' rattles autism researchers

Spectrumnews.org: Revised definition of 'clinical trials' rattles autism researchers

Blurred lines: Some brain imaging studies involving people with autism may now be deemed clinical trials.

Nikada / iStock

Autism researchers in the United States are anxious about new government rules designed to boost the transparency of studies involving people. The red tape may paralyze promising projects, researchers say.

The U.S.

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Spectrumnews.org: Distinct changes mark brains of people with mutations tied to autism

Spectrumnews.org: Distinct changes mark brains of people with mutations tied to autism

Big band: The thickness of the corpus callosum tends to differ in people with a deletion (right) or duplication (left) of the chromosomal region 16p11.2.

Some people missing a copy of 16p11.2, a chromosomal region linked to autism, have unusually large brain structures, according to a new study. Those with

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Spectrumnews.org: Microglia 'map' reveals varied roles in young mouse brain

Spectrumnews.org: Microglia 'map' reveals varied roles in young mouse brain

Cell soldiers: Microglia may take on diverse functions in early development.

Steve Gschmeissner / Science Photo Library

Immune cells in the brain called microglia play diverse roles in the mouse embryo, but assume a common function by adolescence. Researchers presented a map of the cells’ roles yesterday at a conference at

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Spectrumnews.org: Young people with severe autism languish in U.S. hospitals

Spectrumnews.org: Young people with severe autism languish in U.S. hospitals

Debbie Cordone embraces her son, James, who she says benefited tremendously from intensive behavioral therapy at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore.

Nancy J. Parisi / KHN

Teenagers and young adults with severe autism are spending weeks or even months in emergency rooms and acute-care hospitals in the United States, sometimes

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