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  • Molecular mechanisms: Star cells abnormal in autism brains
    7 December 2012
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    Postmortem brains from individuals with autism have astrocytes that are smaller but denser than in control brains, according to a study published 21 September in the Journal of Neuroinflammation. The researchers found similar alterations in a mouse that lacks the autism-linked gene NLGN3.

  • 6 December 2012
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    As recently as the mid-1990s, autism was thought to be a rare disorder that led to severe mental disability. But since then its reported incidence has ballooned, and it is thought to encompass conditions that vary widely in character and severity. Still, its causes, treatments and even definition remain to be pieced together.

  • 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.

  • Software tool homes in on disease-linked mutations
    5 December 2012
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    By combining pedigree information with sequencing data, a new software tool helps focus on genetic variants likely to be responsible for disease, researchers reported 10 October in Bioinformatics.

  • Cognition and behavior: Gender influences autism symptoms
    5 December 2012
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    Men with autism struggle with attention to detail and dexterity, according to a study published 17 October in PLoS One. Men and women with the disorder both have trouble with social skills, however.