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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Have scientists found the autism GENE?

  • Scientists from the University of Washington discovered that people with a mutation of the CHD8 gene have a 'very strong' likelihood of having autism
  • It is the first time that researchers - from 13 institutions - have linked a definitive cause of autism to a genetic mutation
  • A total of 15 children with the CHD8 mutation shared similar characteristics in appearance as well as problems with sleeping and digesting food
  • When scientists disrupted the CHD8 gene in fish they found they too showed characteristics such as wide-set eyes and problems digesting food
  • Experts believe their study will help uncover hundreds of genetic mutations and lead to genetic testing for the condition
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