Podcast: Animal models can explain heterogeneity
Just like no two people are the same, no two strains of mice are the same. Using dozens of different strains of mice with and without a genetic mutation associated with autism called CHD8, researchers at University of Southern California showed great variability in the effect of this mutation on behaviors associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. This can reflect the great differences across people with autism and even people with a rare genetic syndrome associated with autism. It isn’t just one gene, it’s the other hundreds of genes that can contribute to susceptibility or resilience to different features of NDDs. One thing this study did not do was overlay environmental factors, which will also significantly influence the variability seen across the different background genetics in these mice. Listen to the podcast here.