Re-creating autism, in mice
Posted March 27, 2011on:
By mutating a single gene, researchers at MIT and Duke have produced mice with two of the most common traits of autism — compulsive, repetitive behavior and avoidance of social interaction.
They further showed that this gene, which is also implicated in many cases of human autism, appears to produce autistic behavior by interfering with communication between brain cells. The finding, reported in the March 20 online edition of Nature, could help researchers find new pathways for developing drugs to treat autism, says senior author Guoping Feng, professor of brain and cognitive sciences and member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT.