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Science News About Genetics

Molecular Tool Parses Social Fear Circuit Intertwined with Aggression Hub

Science Update

A genetic engineering tool has disentangled seemingly hopelessly intertwined brain circuits for social fear and aggression in mice.

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Worldwide Study Seeks to Unlock the Brain’s Genetic Code

Science Update

Big data pinpoints genetic variation linked to brain volume and risk for disorders.

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NIH Nearly Doubles Investment in BRAIN Initiative Research

Press Release

NIH’s third round of grants to support the goals of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative total just over $150 million.

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Powered-Up Probe ID’s Schizophrenia Genes That Stunt Brain Development

Science Update

Scientists have pinpointed several schizophrenia-related gene variants that alter expression of other genes in illness-implicated circuitry of the human brain.

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Schizophrenia, Autism Risk Gene Trajectories Point to Shared Causes

Science Update

Schizophrenia, autism risk gene trajectories point to shared causes

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Tapping Crowd-Sourced Data Unearths a Trove of Depression Genes

Press Release

Scientists have discovered 15 genome sites – the first ever – linked to depression in people of European ancestry. But – in a twist – the researchers didn’t have to sequence anyone’s genes! Instead, they analyzed data already shared by people who had purchased their own genetic profiles via an online service and elected to participate in its research option.

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Genome-Wide Study Yields Markers of Lithium Response

Science Update

Genome-Wide Study Yields Markers of Lithium Response

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Schizophrenia’s Strongest Known Genetic Risk Deconstructed

Press Release

Versions of a gene linked to schizophrenia may trigger runaway pruning of the teenage brain’s still-maturing communications infrastructure.The gene switched on more in people with the suspect versions, who faced a higher risk of developing the disorder.

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NIH-supported NeuroBioBank Joins Autism BrainNet in Brain Donation Initiative

Press Release

Two of the world’s largest brain tissue banks unify efforts to collect and distribute a critical number of brain donations for important autism research.

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A Patient’s Budding Cortex -- in a Dish?

Press Release

Scientists have perfected mini cultured 3-D structures that grow and function much like the outer mantle – the key working tissue, or cortex – of the brain of the person from whom they were derived.

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GTEx Findings Reveal New Insights into how DNA Differences Influence Gene Activity, Disease Susceptibility

Press Release

Data resource begins to reveal how genetic variability influences key tissues in health and disease.

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Disorders Share Risk Gene Pathways for Immune, Epigenetic Regulation

Science Update

Risk genes for different mental disorders work through same pathways

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Largest Autism Gene Dragnet Fingers 33 Prime Suspects

Science Update

Many patients with psychosis develop health risks associated with premature death early in the course of their mental illness, researchers have found.

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Schizophrenia’s Genetic “Skyline” Rising

Press Release

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

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

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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Genes Impact Suspect Cortex Areas More as Youth Mature

Science Update

Later evolving and maturing brain areas, which also are those most implicated in mental illness, showed gradually increasing heritability, peaking by late adolescence – the age-of-onset for most mental disorders. New findings hold promise for understanding how age plays an important role in gene-environment interactions that underlie the disorders.

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Five Major Mental Disorders Share Genetic Roots

Science Update

Five major mental disorders share some of the same genetic risk factors, the largest genome-wide study of its kind has found.

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Differences in On/Off Switches Help Explain How the Human Brain Evolved

Science Update

A recent NIMH-funded study identified small regions of the genome that are uniquely regulated in human neurons, but not in primate neurons. The findings provide insight into human intellectual function and risk for human diseases, including autism and Alzheimer’s disease.

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