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New Hope for Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders

Researchers from McGill University and the University of Montreal have identified a crucial link between protein synthesis and autism spectrum disorders (ASD), which can bolster new therapeutic avenues. Regulation of protein synthesis, also termed mRNA translation, is the process by which cells manufacture proteins. This mechanism is involved in all aspects of cell and organism function. A new study in mice has found that abnormally high synthesis of a group of neuronal proteins called neuroligins results in symptoms similar to those diagnosed in ASD. The study also reveals that autism-like behaviors can be rectified in adult mice with compounds inhibiting protein synthesis, or with gene-therapy targeting neuroligins. Their results are published in the journal Nature.

The Foundation for the NIH Biomarkers Consortium Launches A Multi-Stakeholder Atherosclerosis Modeling Project

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Biomarkers Consortium announces that it is launching a two-year effort to use computer modeling to better understand heart disease and the potential effectiveness of medicines used to treat it. The project will integrate large amounts of available information on different measures (or “biomarkers”) of atherosclerosis.