Community Newsletter: COVID-19 at INSAR, PTEN Amplifier, Finding Baby Siblings | Spectrum
Community Newsletter: COVID-19 at INSAR, PTEN Amplifier, Finding Baby Siblings |  Spectrum

Community Newsletter: COVID-19 at INSAR, PTEN Amplifier, Finding Baby Siblings | Spectrum

Illustration by Laurène Boglio

This week we are back with tweets that are not related to the first personal gathering International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) for more than three years, which ended a week ago yesterday. Well, for the most part. Some conference guests on social media still lament the spread of COVID-19 at the meeting.

News of post-INSAR positive cases – almost a “mathematical certainty,” according to Micheal Sandbankassistant professor of special education at the University of Texas at Austin – got her to write a thoughtful 19-thread tweet about conference planning with COVID-19 as “an enduring reality. “

The tweet even includes a link to instructions for doing a do-it-yourself Corsi-Rosenthal box to filter the air – a cunning transition from your standard conference preparation.

“THIS. I’m still a little sad lack of precautions and breach of public health. @AutismINSAR we can do and plan better to protect our community, ”he wrote Kristen LyallAssociate Professor at the AJ Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in a quote tweet.

Alycia Halladaychief science officer of the Autism Science Foundation, chimed in to suggest that people share such concerns directly with INSAR.

Two days after Halladay’s tweet, INSAR sent a statement to attendees in person, acknowledging that “unfortunately, we have been notified by a few attendees that they tested positive for COVID-19 after the event.”

Autism scientists on Twitter are still trying to quantify just that what “a few” means.

The autism-linked gene PTEN appeared in another popular series of tweets this week. Christine MayrAssociate Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, wrote a thread about her new paper who investigates effects of amplifiers on the gene. By deleting an endogenous PTEN amplifier, she and her team demonstrated that amplifiers – believed to increase mRNA levels via boosted transcript production – also “regulate poly (A) site cleavage activity to control expression of alternative 3 ‘mRNA transcripts. UTRs. “

Kate GallowayCharles and Hilda Roddey Career Development Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, called it “nice work. “

Robert Flighta senior researcher at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, made the observation that although experimentally derived rules are translated to explain “how &% * # happens across systems “in other sciences, biology serves something a little different:” haha ​​hold my beer while I break these assumptions! “

That Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS), too tweeted about new work this last week documenting “correlations between 6-month brain networks which can support error-based learning and later ASD-associated behaviors. “

Spectrum covered two other new sets of results that draw on IBIS data presented at INSAR last week.

That’s it for this week’s community newsletter! If you have suggestions for interesting social posts you saw in the autism research sphere, feel free to email [email protected].

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