Twins with autism, where either one or both is diagnosed, is crucial to understand the role of genetics and the environment to both autism diagnoses and now, autism traits. In a study this week, researchers using data from the California Twins Study examined the genetic and environmental influences of brain development in multiple regions and measures. While estimates of genetic and environmental influences can only be modeled in twins, they can be experimentally tested in animal models. Researchers at the University of Washington investigate what causes the link between air pollution in humans and autism by studying diesel fuel exhaust in pregnant mice. Finally, across all of these disparate animal studies – does anything pull them together. Are these models all one-offs or do they have anything in common? It turns out disruption in normal brain activity is one thing that they have in common, and something that is at the common core of ASD neurobiology. Listen to the podcast here.