Life sciences/Genetics/Genomics/Functional genomics/Genetic circuits
Research on Mapping the Mind of the Mating Male Wins 2013 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, Supported by The Fodor Family Trust
The language and cognitive difficulties often seen in autism may be caused in part by an overly connected frontal lobe within the brain, says a new study of children published in Science Translational Medicine.
The research points to a gene called CNTNAP2 as responsible for wiring neurons in the front of the brain. If carrying different versions of CNTNAP2 is found to be a consistent predictor of language difficulties, the findings may help researchers design targeted therapies to assist the brain toward a path of more normative development early on.