Largest Ever Autism Study Identifies Two Genetic Culprits

Scientific American reports that the largest genome scan ever conducted to get to the bottom of autism has pinpointed two locations in the human genetic makeup that may trigger the mysterious mental condition.

“These findings are a piece of the puzzle,” says Geraldine Dawson, director of the University of Washington’s Autism Center. “As we identify these genes we will be able to screen young children for autism at an early age and begin interventions earlier, which can have a dramatic effect for some children.”

These results are the culmination of Phase 1 of the Autism Genome Project, which began in 2002 with the sharing of samples and data from labs around the world. Phase 2 will follow-up on the leads discovered.

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