The mitochondria candidate: Is the cell’s powerhouse a hidden factor in autism?

Illustration of mitochondria as a kind of Stonehenge, with the shapes standing upright, casting shadows, against a blue sky.
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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
lllustration of the junction between two nerve cells.
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Multi-omics study captures CNTNAP2’s far-ranging effects

The in-depth approach shows mutations in the autism-linked gene disrupt neuronal growth and communication, as well as mitochondrial gene expression.

By Charles Q. Choi
8 December 2022 | 4 min read

Unlocking the mitochondrial genome for autism research

The DNA specific to mitochondria is difficult to access, but new methods place its secrets within reach.

By Laura Dattaro
1 June 2022 | 5 min read

Mitochondria: An energy explanation for autism

People with autism have more mutations than others do in both mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA that affects mitochondrial function.

By Laura Dattaro
22 November 2021 | 3 min watch
Stylized illustration combines flat color and 3D forms make up a mitochondria with human heads inside it.

Meet the ‘mitomaniacs’ who say mitochondria matter in autism

Clues that problems with mitochondria contribute to autism have been accumulating for decades. In the past five years, a mutant mouse and a flurry of findings have energized the field.

By Laura Dattaro
22 November 2021 | 18 min read
Transmission Electron micrograph shows mitochondria colored an aqua blue.
Spectrum Microphone

Changes to mitochondrial DNA spur autism-like traits in mice

Mice with a mutation in their mitochondrial DNA show altered brain activity, repetitive behaviors and reduced sociability, according to a new study.

By Laura Dattaro
17 February 2021 | 4 min read

Explore more from The Transmitter

Research image of a variety of brain atlases.

New ‘decoder’ tool translates functional neuroimaging terms across labs

The compendium of brain-parcellation atlases makes it possible to compare large-scale network data, which often involves different and overlapping network names.

By Holly Barker
23 July 2024 | 4 min read
Research image showing connectivity in brain regions in female mice with and without a UBE3A variant.

CNTNAP2 variants; trait trajectories; sensory reactivity

Here is a roundup of autism-related news and research spotted around the web for the week of 22 July.

By Jill Adams
23 July 2024 | 2 min read

Women are systematically under-cited in neuroscience. New tools can change that.

An omitted citation in a high-profile paper led us to examine our own practices and to help others adopt tools that promote citation diversity.

By Anne Churchland, Felicia Davatolhagh
22 July 2024 | 5 min read