Brain Cells Spun from Skin Point to Subtypes of Autism
November 14, 2017
(Spectrum) – Several research teams are using so-called induced pluripotent stem cells to study autism. These cells are derived from skin cells and have the same genetic makeup as the donor. A cocktail of chemicals and growth factors transforms the cells into immature brain cells called neural progenitor cells, and eventually into neurons. In the new work, researchers generated neural progenitor cells from two people with deletions of 16p11.2, a chromosomal region tied to autism, and two people with ‘idiopathic’ autism, meaning the condition’s cause is unknown.