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2012

  • Study supports flawed protein synthesis theory of autism
    17 December 2012
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    A new study bolsters the idea that overactive protein synthesis contributes to autism. The findings, published 21 November in Nature, show that dampening a single overabundant protein, neuroligin-1, reverses both abnormal brain activity and social deficits in mice.

  • Flu during pregnancy raises child's risk of autism
    13 December 2012
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    Women who have the flu while pregnant double their risk of having a child with autism, according to a large study published 12 November in Pediatrics. The results add to growing evidence of a connection between maternal infection and autism.

  • Autism-linked protein sets pace for brain development
    10 December 2012
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    Mutations in SYNGAP1, which are associated with severe intellectual disability and an increased risk of autism, do damage by speeding up the rate at which neuronal connections mature, according to a mouse study published 9 November in Cell.

  • Study allays fears about usefulness of induced stem cells
    6 December 2012
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    Some of the genetic variability seen in stem cells derived from skin arises from differences in the skin cells themselves, according to a study published 18 November in Nature. The findings have implications for both stem cell research and our understanding of human biology.

  • Birth weight predicts brain size later in life, study says
    3 December 2012
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    Heavier newborns have larger brains later in life, and a larger cerebral cortex — the brain region responsible for high-level functions such as consciousness and language. The findings, published 19 November in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are the first to assess birth weight’s connection to brain development.

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