blood in a medical vial, closeup

Molecular signature may lead to blood test for autism

Researchers have identified a distinctive pattern of gene expression in the white blood cells of young autistic boys.

By Lauren Schenkman
31 October 2019 | 4 min read

Fathering geeks; GWAS weaknesses; Prozac protection and more

Paternal age drives ‘geek index’ scores, GWAS may have a big weakness, serotonin boosts mouse social behaviors, and what is science Tinder?

By Emily Willingham
23 June 2017 | 8 min read

Sequencing approach bares large variety of brain cell types

Analyzing gene expression in a vision center of the mouse brain has revealed 49 different classes of cells.

By Kate Yandell
24 February 2016 | 2 min read

Mathematical model of autism bridges brain, behavior

A mathematical model of the brain’s circuits shows how neurons stuck in overdrive could produce symptoms of autism. The model may reveal how autism-linked behaviors arise from underlying biology.

By Rachel Nuwer
13 August 2015 | 6 min read

Atlas charts gene activity in developing monkey brains

Researchers have for the first time mapped gene expression in the rhesus macaque brain from birth through adulthood. The atlas illuminates the expression patterns of genes likely to be important in autism.

By Kate Yandell
10 June 2015 | 3 min read

Spotted: Social cells; brain bulge

A cluster of neurons helps monkeys cooperate, and a human gene makes a mouse brain look like a person's.

By Katie Moisse
27 February 2015 | 3 min read

Autism gene guides early neuron development

The little-studied autism gene ANKRD11 helps to package DNA in the nucleus and plays a critical role in the early growth and positioning of neurons.

By Nicholette Zeliadt
12 February 2015 | 5 min read

New mouse model mimics brain abnormalities in autism

Mice with mutations in the autism-linked gene WDFY3 have enlarged brains reminiscent of those seen in some children with autism, according to a study published 8 September in Nature Communications.

By Nicholette Zeliadt
6 October 2014 | 5 min read

Molecular mechanisms: Fragile X protein promotes pruning

FMRP, the protein absent or mutated in fragile X syndrome, aids in strategic elimination of neuronal connections during brain development in mice, according to a study published 26 February in The Journal of Neuroscience.

By Kate Yandell
13 May 2014 | 2 min read
A circle with many colorful lines within it against a black background.

Researchers unveil fetal brain map, mouse ‘connectome’

Two new maps of the brain — an atlas of fetal development and a wiring diagram in the mouse — debuted 2 April in Nature. The maps may open new avenues of investigation into the genetic and neurological basis of autism.

By Nidhi Subbaraman
17 April 2014 | 5 min read

Explore more from The Transmitter

Portrait of Kaspar Podgorski standing in his lab wearing a helmet with a climbing rope over his shoulder.

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

Widely used calcium imaging protocol can lead to spurious results, new paper cautions

The technique, which measures calcium currents as a proxy for neuronal firing, sometimes reports unusual and potentially misleading waves of activity in the hippocampus.

By Angie Voyles Askham
19 June 2024 | 0 min watch