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Community newsletter: Sexual prejudice; formation of synapses; convergence of genes | Spectrum | Autism Research News

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Illustration by Laurene Boglio

Three new autism research threads drew a slew of congratulatory tweets this week. Let’s dive in!

A 16-part thread, by Alessandro Gozzi, a senior scientist at the Italian Institute of Technology in Rovereto, Italy, describes a mechanism behind the sex bias in autism, featured in a preprint his team published on bioRxiv this this month. “Here we studied a well-known autism risk gene called Ube3A“, he tweeted to start the thread.

“Our data suggests that Ube3a Overdose may contribute to sex bias in neurodevelopmental conditions via influence on sex differential mechanisms,” Gozzi concluded.

Thomas Nickl-Jockschat, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa at Iowa City, called the results exciting and thanked Gozzi “for letting me be a part of this collaboration.

“Great yarn and fantastic jobtweeted Veera Rajagopal, a scientist at biotech company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Tarrytown, New York.

Another multi-part thread began with a question: “Are all synapses created equalasked Oscar Marín, professor of neuroscience at the Center for Developmental Neurobiology at Kings College London in the UK.

“We addressed this issue in investigate wiring PV+ and SST+ interneurons in mouse neocortex,” Marín’s tweet continued, explaining his research on parvalbumin and somatostatin cells that emerged in Science November 25.

Marín summarized the findings by tweeting: “Local protein translation is regulated at specific connections to control the formation of synapses in the nervous system. »

Clémence Bernard, a research associate in Marín’s lab, shared a “summary of conclusions paper by the all-rounder @brainotopia.”

“Excitatory synapses from the same presynaptic neuron on sst INs and pv INs have different properties. Now we know how!!!” tweeted Jai Polepalli, assistant professor of anatomy at the National University of Singapore.

Liset M de la Prida, director of the Neural Circuits Laboratory at Instituto Cajal in Madrid, Spain, wondered “if similar mechs are in play in the CA1 dorsal hippocampus, where PV+ and SST+ interneurons connect differently with deep and superficial pyramidal cells.

Other scientists on Twitter hailed another autism-related study, published Nov. 22 in Cell reports. Nadeem Murtaza, a postdoctoral researcher at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, who led the work, “used proteomics to screen 41 autism risk genesfind convergence between genes,” tweeted Karun Singh, an associate professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at the university and an adviser to Murtaza.

“Very impressive article…on protein-protein interaction networks for 41 proteins linked to autism showing (among many other things!) that #mitochondria are a common feature,” tweeted Julien Courchet, researcher at the NeuroMyoGene Institute in Lyon, France.

That’s it for this week’s Community Newsletter! If you have any suggestions for interesting social posts you’ve seen in autism research, feel free to email [email protected].

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