A figure walks along a long road with a gene-sequence-like pattern.

How long-read sequencing will transform neuroscience

New technology that delivers much more than a simple DNA sequence could have a major impact on brain research, enabling researchers to study transcript diversity, imprinting and more.

By Tychele Turner
22 November 2023 | 6 min listen
Research image of cerebral organoids.

Method pinpoints cell-specific effects of autism-linked mutations

The approach, which combines CRISPR with single-cell analyses of organoids, suggests that intermediate progenitor cells are especially vulnerable to mutations associated with autism.

By Celia Ford
3 October 2023 | 3 min read
Illustration of mitochondria as a kind of Stonehenge, with the shapes standing upright, casting shadows, against a blue sky.
Spectrum Microphone

Mitochondria mediate effects of PTEN mutations

Whole-genome sequencing data — which include information about mitochondrial DNA — offer clues to why mutations in the same gene can lead to autism or cancer.

By Katie Moisse
26 June 2023 | 4 min read
Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results.

Null and Noteworthy: Modified MRI; father findings

This month’s newsletter tackles null findings from an attempted replication of a “revolutionary” MRI approach and an analysis of family genetics.

By Emily Harris
22 June 2023 | 4 min read
A brain slice under a microscope.

Preprint questions validity of postmortem brain studies

But the alternatives, including living-brain biopsies, raise logistical and ethical questions, experts say.

By Katie Moisse
5 June 2023 | 6 min listen
Research diagram of gene clusters.

Atlas of gene activity in prenatal brain holds clues to autism

Genes exert their strongest influence on the brain in the first half of gestation — a key window for autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions.

By Brendan Borrell
24 April 2023 | 4 min read
Image of scientists working in a lab.

African genetics study NeuroDev shares initial findings

The most comprehensive study of neurodevelopmental conditions in Kenya and South Africa ever conducted shares preliminary results and lessons.

By Maaisha Osman
15 March 2023 | 7 min listen
Illustration of neurons.
Spectrum Microphone

Chromatin remodeling tied to altered splicing in autism model

Exposing neurons to valproic acid, a well-known environmental risk factor for autism, disrupts their ability to generate different proteins from the same gene.

By Giorgia Guglielmi
7 February 2023 | 5 min read
Photograph of a parent crossing a city street with two children
Spectrum Microphone

A mix of common and rare variants shapes autism inheritance patterns

The study also reveals a link between language development and common variants.

By Katharine Gammon
4 November 2022 | 3 min read
Human silhouettes are seen against a colorful, abstract representation of a genetic sequence.

How geneticists can gain greater buy-in from the autistic community

My recommendations aim to foster a collaborative relationship between researchers and the Autistic community, resulting in an increase in the availability of genetic data.

By Wrigley Kline
9 September 2022 | 7 min read

Explore more from The Transmitter

Brain organoids overgrowth; DSCAM gene; sleep issues in autism

Here is a roundup of autism-related news and research spotted around the web for the week of 24 June.

By Jill Adams
25 June 2024 | 2 min read
Close-up image of a dead fly with visible growths protruding from its abdomen due to Entomophthora fungus infection.

Mind control in zombie flies: Q&A with Carolyn Elya

A parasitic fungus compels its insect host to behave in strange ways by hijacking secretory neurons and circadian pathways.

By Shaena Montanari
25 June 2024 | 5 min read
Illustration of a canyon landscape with an orange clock face in place of a sun.

How to teach this paper: ‘Behavioral time scale synaptic plasticity underlies CA1 place fields,’ by Bittner and Milstein et al. (2017)

Katie Bittner, Aaron Milstein and their colleagues found that cellular learning can happen over longer timescales than Hebb’s rule predicts. How long should we wait to teach students about this phenomenon?

By Ashley Juavinett
24 June 2024 | 11 min read