Gene networks

A diagram of autism-linked genes.

Autism-linked proteins mingle with other molecules in overlapping networks

A massive new set of interaction maps illuminates especially high convergence in protein networks related to autism and shows how mutations could disrupt those networks.

By Alla Katsnelson
8 February 2024 | 5 min read
Illustration of half of a brain on the left and half of a heart on the right
Spectrum Microphone

Change of heart and mind: Autism’s ties to cardiac defects

Children with congenital heart disease have an increased likelihood of autism. Why?

By Lauren Schenkman
21 July 2023 | 12 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
lllustration of the junction between two nerve cells.
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Multi-omics study captures CNTNAP2’s far-ranging effects

The in-depth approach shows mutations in the autism-linked gene disrupt neuronal growth and communication, as well as mitochondrial gene expression.

By Charles Q. Choi
8 December 2022 | 4 min read

Two top autism-linked proteins connect to build cell ‘skeleton’

ADNP and SHANK3 proteins may bind together and alter a neuron’s internal scaffold, hinting at a mechanism that, when disrupted, may underlie several forms of autism.

By Chloe Williams
9 June 2022 | 5 min read

Autism and the complete human genome: Q&A with Evan Eichler

Scientists have at last filled in the missing gaps — an advance likely to inform every aspect of autism genetics research, Eichler says.

By Charles Q. Choi
10 May 2022 | 8 min read
DNA helix inside the human body
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Autism genetics, explained

The more scientists dig into DNA, the more intricate its contribution to autism seems to be. Here, we unravel the complex genetics of autism.

By Nicholette Zeliadt
28 May 2021 | 5 min read
Oligodendrocyte gene grouping showing network of blue lines connecting the gene names on reddish bubbles.
Spectrum Microphone

Differing gene functions across species may pose problems for autism models

Misaligned gene expression maps suggest that some autism-linked genes play distinct roles in mouse and human brains.

By Angie Voyles Askham
22 February 2021 | 4 min read
Global map of 17,800 human proteins.

Proteome map identifies more than 90 percent of all human proteins

Researchers expand on the already enormous progress made on the Human Proteome Project

By Taylor White
9 December 2020 | 3 min read
Spectrum Microphone

Integrating molecular data may reveal subgroups of autism

An analysis of four molecular datasets shows a distinct signature, including changes in gene expression and chemical DNA modifications, in some autism brains.

By Giorgia Guglielmi
30 October 2020 | 6 min read

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By Ashley Juavinett
24 June 2024 | 11 min read
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Climbing to new heights: Q&A with Kaspar Podgorski

The optical physiologist tracks neural computations inside the lab and scales sheer rock faces outside—even after a life-changing fall.

By Elissa Welle
21 June 2024 | 8 min read
Research illustration groups genes by their effects on brain cell types.

Giant analysis reveals how autism-linked genes affect brain cell types

Genes that predispose people to autism account for a large portion of the neuronal and glial cell changes seen in those with the condition.

By Charles Q. Choi
20 June 2024 | 5 min read