Neurogenesis

A research image of autism-linked genes.

Autism-linked perturbations converge on cell skeleton and RNA-binding proteins

The findings solidify the idea that autism-linked mutations affect brain activity by way of several key shared mechanisms.

By Giorgia Guglielmi
29 February 2024 | 4 min read
Research image of organoids in the forebrain.

Head size parts autism into two major subtypes

An imbalance in the number of excitatory neurons in early brain development may account for the difference.

By Charles Q. Choi
12 September 2023 | 4 min read
Composite research image of organoids at several stages of development.
Spectrum Microphone

Genetic background sways effects of autism-linked mutation

Experiments offer clues to why certain mutations are associated with autism in some people and not others.

By Charles Q. Choi
18 May 2023 | 4 min read
Research image of the blood-brain barrier.
Spectrum Microphone

Rare autism-linked mutation starves growing neurons of essential nutrients

The mutation prevents certain amino acids from entering neurons, causing the cells to die early in development.

By Lauren Schenkman
10 April 2023 | 5 min read
Research image of radial glial cells in a human brain organoid.
Organoids Microphone

Immune molecule alters cellular makeup of human brain organoids

The changes may help explain the link between maternal infection and autism, though more research is needed.

By Charles Q. Choi
5 April 2023 | 4 min listen
Research image shows elevated expression of certain genes, shown in pink and green, along with expected gene expression, shown in blue.
Spectrum Microphone

Autism-linked MYT1L mutations prompt ‘identity crisis’ in budding brain cells

Both human and mouse progenitor cells with the alterations struggle to become neurons and instead express genes that are typically active only in muscle or the heart.

By Laura Dattaro
14 February 2023 | 5 min read
Research image comparing neurons that lack the ZFP462 gene to wildtype neurons.

Autism-tied gene ZNF462 keeps developing neurons on track

The gene, linked to a little-known condition called Weiss-Kruszka syndrome, prevents embryonic stem cells from deviating from their neuronal destiny.

By Laura Dattaro
1 February 2023 | 4 min read
Image of a synthetic mouse embryo.

Lab-grown ‘embryoids’ offer new window into gene-trait relationships

The developmental models have advantages over natural embryos and other synthetic models, such as organoids, but present technical and ethical challenges.

By Isabel Ruehl
26 October 2022 | 4 min read

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