In the story, C&EN Associate Editor Lauren K. Wolf points out that most people in the 1960s believed autism resulted from a lack of maternal warmth and emotional attachment. It was a hypothesis popularized by Austrian-born American child psychologist and writer Bruno Bettelheim.
Now scientists around the globe are focusing on genes that have been implicated in autism and related conditions, collectively termed "autism spectrum disorders." That research may solve mysteries about autism, which affects 1 in 110 children in the U.S. Among them: what causes autism, why does it affect more boys than girls and what can be done to prevent and treat it?
C&EN explains that scientists now have solidly implicated certain genes as being involved in autism. Most of those genes play a role in the transmission of signals through the junctions or "synapses" between nerve cells. Synapses are the territory where one nerve releases a chemical signal that hands off messages to an adjoining nerve.
The human brain has an estimated 1,000 trillion synapses, and they are hot spots for miscommunications that underpin neurological disorders like autism. Scientists now are gleaning information on what those genes do, what brain circuits they affect and how the proteins they produce function. In doing so, they are paving the way for future medications for autism spectrum disorders.
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 164,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society contact email@example.com
Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
Decoding the genome's cryptic language
27.02.2017 | University of California - San Diego
New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.
On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences
27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research
27.02.2017 | Life Sciences