The findings are published online today in Nature Genetics and also will be published in the journal’s March print edition. They are based on the largest-ever autism genome scan. Over 120 scientists from over 50 institutions who formed the Autism Genome Project (AGP) performed the research. The AGP began in 2002 when researchers from around the world decided to collaborate and share their samples, data and expertise to aid in identifying autism susceptibility genes.
Funded by Autism Speaks, a national non-profit dedicated to increasing awareness of autism and raising money to research the disorder, and the National Institutes of Health, these are the preliminary findings from the AGP’s first phase.
The consortium used "gene chip" technology to look for genetic similarities in autistic individuals culled from almost 1,200 families. They also scanned the DNA to search for copy number variations, which are submicroscopic insertions and deletions of genetic material that scientists believe may be linked to autism and other diseases. The researchers found neurexin 1, part of a family of genes that plays a role with the neurotransmitter glutamate, which has been previously linked to autism. They also found a gene on chromosome 11 that may be linked to autism susceptibility. That gene has not yet been pinpointed.
Researchers speculate that there may be five or six major genes and as many as 30 other genes involved in autism. If a child has more of these genes, there is a higher chance of being born with autism or a more severe form of the disease.
Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism Spectrum Disorders are diagnosed in one in 150 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade.
Phase Two of the Autism Genome Project was also announced to continue the effort to discover the genes that cause the disorder. This second phase represents a $14.5 million, three-year investment by Autism Speaks, the British Medical Research Council, the Health Research Board of Ireland, Genome Canada and its partners, Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, and the Hilibrand Foundation.
Karen N. Peart | EurekAlert!
Researchers reveal new details on aged brain, Alzheimer's and dementia
21.11.2017 | Allen Institute
Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development
21.11.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Silicatforschung ISC
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
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15.11.2017 | Event News
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21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
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21.11.2017 | Health and Medicine