Neuroscientists and genetics illuminate power of autism-linked gene

Genetics and MIT neuroscientists (MIT) have shed light on the role of the gene causes the development of autism. Neuroscientists have found that gene Shank3 mutation plays an key role in the formation and maturation of synapses – connections by which neurons transmit information to each other. The experiments of scientists at MIT have shown that among the many genes associated with autism, only Shank3’s mutation does affect the development of autism. These mutations were observed in 0.5 percent of autists, scientists reported in their joint publication Journal of Neuroscience. Neuroscientists know that Shank3 helps cells respond to the receiving data from other neurons. Troy Littleton, a professor in the departments of Biology and of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT said: “It’s clearly regulating something in the neuron that’s…


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