Psychiatric Problems Common in Siblings of People with Autism

Psychiatric conditions crop up more than twice as often in families that include a child with autism as in the general population. That’s the upshot of the most sweeping study to date of mental health in siblings of children with autism. The findings suggest that clinicians should look...

“CRISPR” Way to Cut Genes Speeds Advances in Autism

Less than three years ago, two landmark publications in Science gave researchers a quick and easy recipe for tinkering with genes.1,2 The papers described a new tool — a modified enzyme called CRISPR-CAS9 — that allows researchers to reach into the genome and snip, or substitute, DNA sequences...

Communication in Brain May Be Remarkably Constant in Autism

Patterns of brain activity in people with autism are unusually consistent over seconds — and even years, two new studies suggest.1,2 One study shows that patterns of connectivity remain stable in autistic adolescents, whereas they tend to change and specialize in controls. The other study...

Parental Age Ups Rate of New Mutations Passed to Children

Men and women both transmit an increasing number of new mutations to their children as they age, according to a study published recently in Nature (Jónsson H. et al., 2017). The finding is based on an analysis of whole genomes from nearly 5,000 people. The increase in these ‘de novo’ mutations...