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News and Multimedia Featuring DNBBS

Suspect Gene Corrupts Neural Connections

Press Release

Synapses in mature iPSC cortex neuron Hongjun Song iPSC

Researchers have shown in patients’ cells how a rare mutation in a suspect gene disrupts the expression of dozens of other genes underlying neural connections.

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Follow that Cell

Press Release

SCAP Challenge graphic thumbnail

The National Institutes of Health is challenging science innovators to compete for prizes totaling up to $500,000, by developing new ways to track the health status of a single cell in complex tissue over time.

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Schizophrenia’s Genetic “Skyline” Rising

Press Release

Schizophrenia genetics Manhattan plots, 2011, 2014

The largest genomic dragnet of any psychiatric disorder to date has unmasked 108 chromosomal sites harboring inherited variations in the genetic code linked to schizophrenia, 83 of which had not been previously reported.

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Common Gene Variants Account for Most Genetic Risk for Autism

Press Release

Buxbaum Autism Architecture Chart

Most of the genetic risk for autism comes from versions of genes that are common in the population rather than from rare variants or spontaneous glitches.

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Shining a Light on Memory

Press Release

Malinow Engineering Memory Rat

Using a flash of light, scientists have inactivated and then reactivated a memory in genetically engineered rats. The findings – the first cause-and-effect evidence that strengthened connections between neurons are the stuff of memory – add to mounting evidence that the brain represents a memory by forming assemblies of neurons with strengthened connections.

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Jump-starting Natural Resilience Reverses Stress Susceptibility

Press Release

Antidepressant effects

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors to out-of-balance neuronal electrical activity and made mice resilient by reversing it.

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NIH-funded Brain Atlas Offers Clues to Psychiatric Disorders

Press Release

BrainSpan Atlas of the Developing Human Brain

A brain blueprint maps where genes are tuned on and off during mid-pregnancy—when most brain disorders such as autism and schizophrenia occur.

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Brain Region Singled Out for Social Memory, Possible Therapeutic Target for Select Brain Disorders

Science Update

highlighted CA2 region of hippocampus in mouse brain

The hippocampus houses learning and memory—specifically the storage of knowledge of who, what, where, and when. Using a special transgenic mouse, researchers have now pinpointed a hippocampal region called CA2 that is important for social memory, the ability of animal to recognize another of the same species. Understanding this region could be useful in understanding and treating disorders characterized by altered social behaviors such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism.

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Streamlined Method Offers Shortcut to Generating Neurons for Discovery

Science Update

Human induced neuron transplanted into mouse brain

Researchers have found a shortcut to rapidly convert induced human stem cells into healthy neurons for “disease-in-a-dish” discovery – and, ultimately, personalized medicine.

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Stray Prenatal Gene Network Suspected in Schizophrenia

Press Release

Schizophrenia networks in prefrontal cortex

Researchers have reverse-engineered the outlines of a disrupted prenatal gene network in schizophrenia, by tracing spontaneous mutations to where and when they likely cause damage in the brain.

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