What’s MSSNG in #Autism? – By John Elder Robison

By on December 10, 2014

mssng_hero Yesterday a new hashtag campaign appeared in my Twitter feed – #MSSNG. It seemed to refer to autism, and a new research project. I had an immediate reaction, based on my interpretation of the letters in the context of the autism discussion – I thought, Missing?  Certainly not.  We may be gifted or we may […]

Different genes may cause autism in girls: study

By on August 3, 2006

Different genes may be responsible for causing autism in boys than in girls, researchers said on Wednesday in a study that may help explain why the condition is more common in boys.

And other genes may play a role in the early onset and late onset forms of autism, the researchers at the University of Washington reported in the journal Molecular Genetics.

Multiple Genetic ‘Flavors’ May Explain Autism

By on August 12, 2005 reports: In a pair of studies, the researchers identify and characterize a number of mutations in the gene that regulate brain levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in breathing, digestion, sleep, appetite, blood vessel constriction, mood and impulsivity. About 25 percent of people with autism have elevated levels of serotonin in their blood. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) drugs improve some of the...

The Age of Autism: Gene suspects located

By on August 8, 2005 reports: "We know autism is complex, and when I think of a complex trait I think of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions," she said. "And I am sure that's what's going on in autism if I had to bet -- a combination of both.

"I think there are going to be multiple different forms. Some forms have certain genes contributing to it and other forms have gene-environment type interactions."

Link to article

Rodent Social Behavior Encoded in Junk DNA

By on June 10, 2005

Google News reports:, NC - 10 minutes ago
A discovery that may someday help to explain human social behavior and disorders such as autism has been made in a species of pudgy rodents by researchers ...

Link to article

Study links regions of two chromosomes to susceptibility for Autism

By on June 7, 2005

Google News reports: EurekAlert, DC - 4 hours ago
... A new Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center study links regions of two chromosomes to susceptibility for a type of autism characterized by regression ...

Link to article

Gene Mutated In Cancer Found In Some With Autism

By on May 29, 2005 reports: A gene that is changed in many forms of cancer has also been found to show similar changes in some forms of autism, according to preliminary research.

The gene, known as PTEN, was found to be changed, or mutated, in three of 18 people with larger than normal heads and autism spectrum disorder. Autism spectrum disorder includes classical autism, Rett syndrome and other conditions. The study was led by researchers at The...

A Question Of Breeding

By on March 13, 2005

Why has there been such an enormous rise in the number of children diagnosed as ‘autistic’ in the last 20 or so years? How can we account for the quite astonishing increase in cases of this harrowing and alienating affliction? The question frightens parents; it bamboozles scientists. It leaves our politicians looking shifty and averting their gaze.

Get out and vote!

By on November 2, 2004

Today is the 2004 election! You guys need to get out and vote. This race is extermely close. If you live in Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and even Virginia, your vote could possibly make the difference. It is important to vote, so please vote.

New genetic hypothesis for the cause of autism

By on October 25, 2004 reports:

The role of genetics in autism is believed to be significant because twin studies have found that identical twins, who have the same DNA, are much more likely to share the diagnosis than fraternal twins. However, experts have not yet identified the specific genetic components related to autism, and many experts believe that multiple genes are involved.

Researchers, led by Yong-hui Jiang of Baylor College of Medicine...