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  • Neurons made directly from skin cells model autism mutations
    27 November 2013
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    Skin cells taken from mice with an autism-linked mutation and transformed directly into neurons have the same properties as neurons from the brains of these mice. The study, published 8 October in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, validates an efficient technique to study disease-linked mutations.

  • Miniature cable reads a mouse's sense of reward
    20 November 2013
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    A tiny fiber-optic probe inserted into the reward center of the mouse brain monitors how the mouse feels about meeting a peer — or a golf ball. The unpublished technique was presented last week at the 2013 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

  • Neurons made from teeth may aid autism research
    13 November 2013
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    Cells extracted from baby teeth, which fall out on their own, may be better suited than skin cells for making induced neurons to use in autism research, suggests a study published 3 October in PLoS One.

  • Medical record mining helps clarify complex diseases
    6 November 2013
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    Researchers have mined the medical records of more than 100 million people and found close to 3,000 associations between single-gene diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, and complex genetic disorders such as autism. The results were published 26 September in Cell.

  • Spinning system turns stem cells into mini-brains
    30 October 2013
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    Researchers have coaxed human stem cells to develop into simplified mini-brains, with regions resembling discrete brain structures, they reported 19 September in Nature.