Genetics

“Junk” DNA Holds Clues to Cancer, Autism

Source: 
Scientific American
Date Published: 
September 6, 2012
Abstract: 

With the latest annotation of the human genome, researchers have made new discoveries about common diseases

Supplemental Material Blood-Based Gene Expression Signatures of Infants and Toddlers With Autism

Source: 
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Date Published: 
September 2012
Abstract: 

Dr. Eric Courchesne recently published his work he previewed at this year's IMFAR in the "Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry."

The mRNA expression abnormalities reliably observed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, which are safely and easily assayed in infants, offer the first potential peripheral blood–based, early biomarker panel of risk for autism in infants and toddlers. Future work should verify these biomarkers and evaluate whether they may also serve as indirect indices of deviant molecular neural mechanisms in autism.

Research shows gene defect's role in autism-like behavior

Source: 
PLoS ONE
Date Published: 
August 13, 2012
Abstract: 

Scientists affiliated with the UC Davis MIND Institute have discovered how a defective gene causes brain changes that lead to the atypical social behavior characteristic of autism. The research offers a potential target for drugs to treat the condition.

Scientists Track Adult Regression in Autism-Related Syndrome

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
July 26, 2012
Abstract: 

Scientists track adult regression in Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, which is one of the autism-related syndromes with an identified genetic basis.

Mutations in Autism Susceptibility Gene Increase Risk in Boys

Source: 
Emory University School of Medicine
Date Published: 
July 12, 2012
Abstract: 

Emory University researchers identify mutations in an autism susceptibility gene that may explain why autism spectrum disorders affect four times as many boys as girls.

Vanderbilt University Researchers Examine Oxytocin and Serotonin Systems as Biomarkers for Autism

Source: 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22721594.1
Date Published: 
May 26, 2012
Abstract: 

Vanderbilt University researchers examine oxytocin and serotonin systems as biomarkers for autism spectrum disorders.

Seizures in Angelman Syndrome Could be Linked to an Imbalance in Brain Activity

Source: 
UNC School of Medicine
Date Published: 
June 6, 2012
Abstract: 

Researchers led by Dr. Ben Philpot, an ASF funded mentor, at UNC School of Medicine found that seizures in individuals with Angelman syndrome could be linked to an imbalance in brain cell activity. Angelman syndrome exhibits frequent comorbidity with autism spectrum disorders.

Autism science is moving 'stunningly fast'

Source: 
USA Today
Date Published: 
April 10, 2012
Abstract: 

Researchers today also say they're beginning to make progress, perhaps for the first time, in understanding the autistic brain.

Gene Studies of Autism Point to Mutations and Parents’ Age

Source: 
New York Times
Date Published: 
April 4, 2012
Abstract: 

Three teams of scientists working independently to understand the biology of autism have for the first time homed in on several gene mutations that they agree sharply increase the chances that a child will develop the disorder, and have found further evidence that the risk increases with the age of the parents, particularly the father.

IACC Releases Its 2011 Summary of Advances in Autism Spectrum Disorder Research

Source: 
IACC
Date Published: 
April 2, 2012
Abstract: 

On April 2, in honor of the fifth annual World Autism Awareness Day and HHS Autism Awareness Month the IACC has released its annual list of scientific advances that represent significant progress in the field.