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In Brief

  • Genetics: Splicing gene alters expression of autism genes
    3 August 2012
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    The autism-associated gene RBFOX1 modifies the sequence of hundreds of genetic messages, a number of which affect the expression of other autism-linked genes, according to a study published 7 July in Human Molecular Genetics.

  • Clinical research: Facial features can help diagnose autism
    1 August 2012
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    The presence of any of three abnormal physical features — an asymmetrical face, tufts of hair growing in the wrong direction or a prominent forehead — can help diagnose autism, according to a study published 6 June in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

  • Molecular mechanisms: Autism gene regulates neuron shape
    31 July 2012
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    TAOK2, a gene in the autism-associated 16p11.2 chromosomal region, is part of a signaling pathway that builds neuronal connections during development, according to a study published 10 June in Nature Neuroscience.

  • Cognition and behavior: Fragile X carriers show autism signs
    27 July 2012
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    Women who have a milder version of the fragile X mutation, which can lead to the full mutation in their children, have some features of autism, according to a study published 12 June in the American Journal of Medical Genetics.

  • Genetics: Study ties three immune genes to autism
    25 July 2012
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    Common variants in three genes involved in the immune system are more likely to crop up in people with autism than in typical controls, according to a study published 9 June in Molecular Autism.