SHANK3

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
Position heatmaps of mice performing a behavioral assay.

New test taps nose pokes as a proxy for social motivation in mice

Over one hour, a particularly motivated mouse poked its nose 350 times into a hole in the test chamber in the hopes of meeting a playmate.

By Holly Barker
10 August 2023 | 5 min read
Spectrum Microphone

Autism’s ties to the cell skeleton

Many genes related to the condition play a role in the internal scaffolding of cells, and cytoskeletal disruptions can affect neurodevelopment and behavior.

By Giorgia Guglielmi
22 June 2023 | 7 min read
Research video of a zebrafish larva (zoomed in on the gut) being given glucose.

On the periphery: Thinking ‘outside the brain’ offers new ideas about autism

Neuronal alterations outside the brain may help to explain a host of the condition’s characteristic traits, including sensory changes, gut problems and motor differences.

By Sarah DeWeerdt
13 April 2023 | 20 min read
Graham Diering smiles in a portrait in his yard.
Modeling Microphone

Asleep in the Mouse House with Graham Diering

Memories from Diering’s life trace the rising star’s scientific path from raising lizards as a child and later exploring home brewing to heading a lab that investigates memory, sleep disturbances and early development in animals with autism-linked mutations.

By Peter Hess
12 January 2023 | 17 min listen
Composite image of inhibitory and excitatory neurons.
Methods Microphone

One-rosette technique grows well-organized organoids

The method yields complex organoids that more closely mimic embryonic brain development than do those cultured in other ways.

By Peter Hess
2 December 2022 | 5 min listen
A white mouse sits on a nest against a blue background.

Mouse models help sniff out olfactory differences in autism

A range of presentations at Neuroscience 2022 tie atypical social behavior to trouble discriminating between odors in the animals.

By Sarah DeWeerdt
16 November 2022 | 5 min read
Mouse brain slices showing the effects of SHANK2 and SHANK3 deletions.
Spectrum Microphone

Double SHANK knockout highlights brain circuit’s social role

Mice missing the autism-linked SHANK2 and SHANK3 genes in their retrosplenial cortex have trouble distinguishing between novel and familiar mice.

By Angie Voyles Askham
19 October 2022 | 5 min read

Lost sleep sparks lasting social problems in SHANK3 mice

Sleep disruption early in life has long-lasting consequences for mice missing a copy of the autism-linked gene SHANK3.

By Peter Hess
12 September 2022 | 3 min read
Lab mice (Mus musculus), tribe Balbc, three 13 day old babies with eyes still closed, laying side by side

Sleepy mice with autism-linked mutation struggle to fall asleep

Mice with a mutated copy of SHANK3 fail to establish normal sleep patterns during development.

By Peter Hess
12 September 2022 | 3 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