Lab-grown embryos; 3D genome architecture; preterm outcomes

Here is a roundup of news and research spotted around the web for the week of 11 September.

  • Naive human stem cells can grow into a laboratory embryo that meets key developmental milestones. Spectrum has previously reported on lab-grown mouse embryos created by the same research group. Nature
  • Autistic children and adolescents engage in camouflaging behaviors to fit into non-autistic settings, which can be stressful even as it becomes habitual. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Genetic engineering of human stem cells to create commonly observed deletions on chromosome 15 may provide more consistent cell models of Angelman and Prader-Willi syndromes, according to a preprint. bioRxiv
  • The 3D genome architecture of cerebellar cells is remodeled across the lifespan — in both mice and people. Spectrum covered this research last year, before its publication. Science
  • Mice carrying variants of the autism-linked SHANK3 gene show behavioral changes that are mitigated by oral acetate treatment. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity
  • Ubadah Sabbagh, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher born in Syria, has won the 2023 Young Arab Pioneers Award and other accolades for his research on brain circuits involved in neurodevelopmental conditions. The McGovern Institute
  • People with variants of the gene TBL1XR1 show a wide range of phenotypes, including autism, global developmental delay, hypotonia and epilepsy. Gene
  • Mice missing the autism-linked gene FOXP1 in the cortex show changes in cortical neuron structure, altered responses to tactile stimuli and heightened fear responses. Molecular Autism
Research image showing cortical serotonin staining in mice.
Barrel roles: Cortical serotonin staining shows structural form development in wildtype mice (left) and those missing FOXP1 (right).
  • The International Society for Autism Research has a program to help academics collaborate with autistic community members to boost participatory research studies. Spectrum reported on these efforts last year. Autism Research
  • Children with congenital heart defects have an increased likelihood of having a developmental condition such as autism or intellectual disability, according to records from nearly 2 million children. Spectrum reported on this association in July. Birth Defects Research
  • Researchers have launched a public database of short tandem repeats across the human genome. Spectrum reported on DNA repeats in autism in 2020. Journal of Molecular Biology
  • Children born before 33 weeks’ gestation appear to fall into four distinct neurobehavioral profiles, with 85 percent having no or mild developmental delay and few behavioral issues. Pediatric Research
  • Addressing social and psychological factors has lowered the high blood pressure of an autistic woman whose hypertension was resistant to medical treatment. Journal of Hypertension
  • Autistic people do not appear to have problems with predictive sensory processing but face challenges in changing conditions, according to a new study. Spectrum has an explainer on the predictive coding theory of autism. PLOS Computational Biology
  • The organization Women in Neuroscience has profiled Camilla Bellone, a University of Geneva researcher who studies synaptic function and social behavior. Stories of WiN