A research image of neuronal dendrites in mice.

Top autism-linked genes join forces to shape synaptic plasticity

The protein products of ANK2 and SCN2A interact to regulate dendritic excitability.

By Holly Barker
29 January 2024 | 5 min read
Spectrum Microphone

Fishing for protein partners nets clues to autism

Connections between 13 autism-linked proteins and their binding partners in excitatory neurons implicate a new molecular pathway.

By Holly Barker
6 February 2023 | 5 min read

Dispatches from SfN 2021: Mitochondria, Rett therapy and oxytocin

These short reports from Spectrum journalists highlight some of the autism-related findings that caught our attention at the meeting this past week.

By Angie Voyles Askham, Laura Dattaro, Anna Goshua, Peter Hess
11 November 2021 | 9 min read
Neurons in red and green

‘Neurons on a chip’ reveal patterns across autism-linked conditions

Activity patterns of neuronal networks link different genetic subtypes of autism that have similar traits, according to new unpublished research.

By Angie Voyles Askham
7 May 2021 | 3 min read
Spectrum Microphone

Mutations in frogs point to autism genes’ shared role in neurogenesis

Mutations in any of 10 autism-linked genes in frogs lead to the same overabundance of brain cells that develop into neurons; the sex hormone estrogen lowers this excess.

By Laura Dattaro
10 February 2021 | 6 min read
Gut neurons and glia (red, green) are fragile and interwoven with other cells (blue) in the colon, making them tricky to isolate.

Cell maps reveal diversity of neurons in gut

An atlas that details gene expression in neurons and other cells from the intestines of mice and people may help to elucidate the link between gut problems and autism.

By Chloe Williams
21 October 2020 | 3 min read

Mice reveal how top autism gene may disrupt brain structure

Mutations in an autism gene called ANK2 may alter brain wiring by causing the growth of excess neuronal connections.

By Nicholette Zeliadt
26 August 2019 | 4 min read
A boy toddler learns to walk with an adult holding his hands.

Some ‘autism genes’ show stronger ties to related conditions

The largest autism sequencing study to date implicates 99 genes in the condition — but nearly half have a tighter link to intellectual disability or developmental delay.

By Jessica Wright
17 October 2018 | 3 min read
three mice with one in the spotlight

‘Retired’ mice find new life as top models for autism

As the list of autism candidate genes grows, some mouse models of the genes turn up in long-forgotten studies.

By Jessica Wright
25 January 2018 | 6 min read

Brain’s bridge could yield clues to faulty wiring in autism

Decoding distortions in the brain’s largest nerve tract could lay bare basic problems with long-range neural connections in autism.

By Sarah DeWeerdt
27 February 2017 | 1 min watch

Explore more from The Transmitter

Brain organoid size matches intensity of social problems in autistic people

Overgrown organoids could point to mechanisms underlying profound autism.

By Holly Barker
18 July 2024 | 5 min read

Persistent protein pairing enables memories to last

The complex of two memory proteins, rather than the individual molecules acting independently, underlie month-long memories in mice, a new study suggests.

By Elissa Welle
17 July 2024 | 5 min read
A digitally distorted image of a file folder against a blue gradient background.

Data access changes to UK Biobank stir unease in neuroscientists

“I feel a little bit in limbo,” says neuroscientist Stephanie Noble, who has paused a study using Biobank data after the repository shifted from a data download to a cloud-only access model.

By Calli McMurray
16 July 2024 | 7 min read