Sensory hypersensitivity; FAM53C protein; genomic database from Mexico

Here is a roundup of news and research spotted around the web for the week of 16 October.

  • Functional brain connectivity does not appear to differ between infants who have autistic siblings and those who do not, according to a small study. Molecular Autism
  • Scientist Simone Brixius-Anderko writes about getting diagnosed with autism at age 41 and learning to be honest with others and compassionate with herself. eLife
  • Individual susceptibility to toxins can be assessed using brain organoids comprising cells from different people, according to a preprint. bioRxiv
  • A previously unrecognized protein called FAM53C regulates the intracellular functions of the protein DYRK1A, an interaction that plays key roles in autism and Down syndrome. Life Science Alliance
  • A new database documents genome-wide associations from more than 6,000 people across Mexico and shows significant differences from databases dominant in European ancestries. Nature
  • Transcriptomes from early cortical development reveal hundreds of thousands of unique isoforms, which may inform research on the genetics of neurodevelopmental conditions, according to a preprint. bioRxiv
  • Young people with autism or anxiety tend to react more strongly to tactile and auditory stimuli than their peers without either condition do. Journal of Neuroscience Research
  • Changes in trafficking of proteins throughout cells — a process regulated by cell-surface receptors in the VPS10P family — may contribute to neurodevelopmental conditions. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology

    A research image of a beagle
    Telling tails: Beagles with SHANK3 mutations wag their tails less and have higher blood cortisol levels than wildtype beagles.
  • Two former colleagues have written a biographical memoir about the late autism research pioneer Michael Rutter. Spectrum published a remembrance in 2021, shortly after his death. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society
  • Mice missing the SCN1B gene, a model of Dravet syndrome, display altered neuronal activity, including intrinsic excitability and synaptic integration. Journal of Neuroscience
  • Genetic analysis that reveals autism-linked de novo mutations often leaves parents of autistic children confused about future reproduction — their own and their child’s. Journal of Community Genetics
  • Researchers propose the “triple empathy problem” to explain poor communication between autistic people and their health-care providers. Autism
  • Sensory hypersensitivity in mice missing the FMR1 gene, a model of fragile X syndrome, is linked to altered activity of VIP-containing neurons. Journal of Neuroscience
  • Beagles carrying variants of the autism-linked SHANK3 gene display anxiety and social inhibition. Molecular Psychiatry
  • The Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics has announced a new partnership with the University of Pennsylvania to develop a novel gene therapy.