Mutant flies reveal key gene interactions within autism deletion

Source: [Spectrum, Alla Katsnelson | 20 August, 2018] The absence of several interacting genes underlies the developmental problems seen in people missing a segment of chromosome 16, a new study in fruit flies suggests1. People lacking this segment, 16p11.2, have varied features, including intellectual disability, an enlarged brain, seizures, obesity and autism. In the […]

MIT scientists discover fundamental rule of brain plasticity

Source: [Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, David Orenstein | June 22, 2018] Our brains are famously flexible, or “plastic,” because neurons can do new things by forging new or stronger connections with other neurons. But if some connections strengthen, neuroscientists have reasoned, neurons must compensate lest they become overwhelmed […]

New report shows slight uptick in autism prevalence

Source: [Spectrum, Jessica Wright| April 26, 2018] About 1 in 59 children in the United States has autism, according to data released today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Four times as many boys as girls have the condition, according to the report1. The data are […]

Study IDs important role for specific gene in 16p11.2 deletion autism

Source: [Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, David Orenstein | March 20, 2018] In a new study of one of the most common genetic causes of autism, neuroscientists at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have identified a specific molecular mechanism that appears to undermine the ability of neurons […]