June 23, 2012

Fishing for Answers to Autism Puzzle

Full story: ScienceDaily — Fish cannot display symptoms of autism, schizophrenia, or other human brain disorders. However, a team of Whitehead Institute and MIT scientists has shown that zebrafish can be a useful tool for studying the genes that contribute to such disorders.

Led by Whitehead Member Hazel Sive, the researchers set out to explore a group of about two dozen genes known to be either missing or duplicated in about 1 percent of autistic patients. Most of the genes' functions were unknown, but a new study by Sive and Whitehead postdocs Alicia Blaker-Lee, Sunny Gupta and, Jasmine McCammon, revealed that nearly all of them produced brain abnormalities when deleted in zebrafish embryos.

The findings, published online recently in the journal Disease Models & Mechanisms, should help researchers pinpoint genes for further study... READ MORE >>


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