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  • Watching Patient-Derived Brain Cells Take Shape in the Lab Reveals Autism Defect

    By coaxing cells from autistic people to grow into brain-like clusters of cells in the laboratory, scientists have uncovered a developmental flaw that skews the balance of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. The findings, which were reported July 16th in the journal Cell, suggest that overproduction of certain cell types during early development could lead to faulty wiring in the brains of people with autism.

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  • Lab-spun spheres reveal common biology in boys with autism

    Balls of neurons derived from the skin cells of four boys with autism show shared alterations in biology and gene expression, researchers reported today in Cell1. Like many people with autism, none of the four boys have a mutation known to be associated with the disorder.

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  • Mini Brains Model Autism

    An examination of tiny, brain-like organoids generated from the skin cells of patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) suggests that the condition may be associated with an overproduction of inhibitory neurons, among other things. The study, published today (July 16) in Cell, reveals that although the patients’ symptoms arose spontaneously, their brain cells behaved similarly in vitro.

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  • Scientists Grow Tiny Brain 'Organoids' In A Dish To Study Autism

    Just one seemingly tiny error during the early stages of brain development can have an enormous impact on a person's life. Finding such errors will likely be critical to one day prevent developmental disorders such as autism — but studying the developing brain in humans presents many challenges.

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  • Stem cells reveal a long-hidden mosaic

    Although the many cells in a human body have distinct functions and appearances, it’s generally been assumed that they all share the same genetic blueprint. So when adult cells are reprogrammed into their most basic, stem cell state, it’s assumed that the resulting stem cells will all be the same.

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  • Study allays fears about usefulness of induced stem cells

    New analysis of stem cells derived from individuals’ skin cells suggests that skin is a patchwork of genetic variability. The process used to transform adult cells into stem cells, called reprogramming, doesn’t trigger a host of genetic variations, according to a study published 18 November in Nature. What’s more, at least half of the genetic variability seen in stem cells derived from skin arises from differences in the skin cells themselves.

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