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SFARI NEWS

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10 July 2012

A Newsletter from the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative

NEWS Exome sequencing identifies unknown disorders Gene expression analysis identifies risk genes for autism VIEWPOINT Targeting brain microcircuits may help treat autism IN BRIEF Cognition and behavior: Hearing delay unique to autism Genetics: Study links MET gene to emotion recognition Clinical research: Melatonin relieves sleep problems in autism TOOLBOX Researchers debut 'virtual microscope' for mouse brain BLOG Brain hack Growth factor

NEWS

Exome sequencing identifies unknown disorders


By sequencing the protein-coding region of the genome of a single affected family member, researchers were able to diagnose 20 percent of people in 85 consanguineous families with unknown neurodevelopmental disorders, according to research published 13 June in Science Translational Medicine.

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Gene expression analysis identifies risk genes for autism


Analyzing how mutations in people with autism affect gene expression in

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SFARI NEWS

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blood-derived cells could help researchers pinpoint harmful mutations, according to research published 21 July in The American Journal of Human Genetics.

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VIEWPOINT

Targeting brain microcircuits may help treat autism


Understanding the function of neuronal circuits, specifically microcircuits in the prefrontal cortex and elsewhere in the brain, will play a major role in translating research findings into new autism treatments, says Vikaas Sohal.

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IN BRIEF

Cognition and behavior: Hearing delay unique to autism


An abnormal response to sound detected by brain imaging may distinguish children with autism from those with specific language impairment, according to a study published 30 May in Neuroreport.

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Genetics: Study links MET gene to emotion recognition


Researchers have linked the ability to recognize emotions from facial expressions to MET, a well-known autism gene, according to a study published 27 April in PLoS ONE.

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Clinical research: Melatonin relieves sleep problems in autism


Children who receive a combination of melatonin and behavioral therapy fall asleep faster and have better sleep quality than those who get either treatment alone or those on placebo, according to a study published 22 May in the Journal of Sleep Research.

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TOOLBOX

Researchers debut 'virtual microscope' for mouse brain


Researchers have released the first set of data from the Mouse Brain Architecture Project, which uses light microscopy to trace neuronal circuits in the mouse brain.

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BLOG

Brain hack
The Allen Institute convened a five-day 'hackathon' to create new tools that take advantage of the petabytes of brain mapping data in the institute's massive databases.

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Growth factor
A small clinical trial at the Seaver Autism Center at Mount Sinai aims to test whether an existing drug, the growth factor IGF-1, will help treat some of the core symptoms of autism in children with a specific genetic mutation.

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