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Brain Study Reveals Insights Into Genetic Basis of Autism

13th July, 2015

[Source:  Science Daily]


UNSW Australia scientists have discovered a link between autism and genetic changes in some segments of DNA that are responsible for switching on genes in the brain.

The finding is the result of a world-first study of the human brain that identified more than 100 of these DNA segments, known as enhancers, which are thought to play a vital role in normal development by controlling gene activity in the brain.
“Our study provides a unique resource of information on gene function in the human brain which could help reveal the basis of autism and related neurological disorders,” says lead author UNSW’s Dr Irina Voineagu.
The research is published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
A lot of research on the genetic causes of diseases, including autism, focuses on mutations in genes — the segments of DNA that contain the blue-print for producing proteins in the cell. But protein-coding DNA accounts for less than 5 per cent of the full human genetic code.
Read the Rest of this Article on Science Daily

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