The Scripps Research Institute - At The Forefront

September 2015

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Focus on:
Pinpointing a Cause of Autism

As early as 1943, when autism was first described, reports were made that some, but not all, children with autism spectrum disorder have relatively enlarged heads. But even today, more than half a century later, the exact cause of this early abnormal growth of the head and brain has remained unclear.

Now, scientists from the Scripps Florida campus have uncovered how mutations in a specific gene linked to autism alter the basic trajectory of early brain development in animal models.

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The Scripps Florida team included Amy Clipperton-Allen, Youjun Chen, Wen-Chin “Brian” Huang, Julien Séjourné and Damon Page.






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The team found antibodies that identify and neutralize Marburg virus—which inflicts a mortality rate of up to 90 percent.


milestones in medical science:
How an Antibody Destroys the Deadly Marburg Virus

At 90%, the Marburg virus has an even higher mortality rate than its close relative, the Ebola virus, which has killed more than 11,000 people since its outbreak in West Africa last year. In a new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), researchers have developed new immune molecules against Marburg that can neutralize this deadly, previously untreatable virus—and help treat individuals during future Marburg outbreaks.

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Srinivasa Subramaniam is a biologist at the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute.


Other News:
Can One Protein Treat Huntington's Disease?

Huntington's disease destroys nerves in the part of the brain that controls movement with a barrage of toxicity, yet leaves other parts of the brain relatively unscathed.

In a new study, a team of Scripps Florida scientists led by TSRI Assistant Professor Srinivasa Subramaniam have established conclusively that a protein called "Rhes" plays a pivotal role in focusing that toxicity in the section of the forebrain that controls body movement. They have also shown that deleting Rhes significantly reduces symptoms in mouse models with the disease.

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facts & figures

The prevalence of autism in U.S. children increased by nearly 120% between 2000 and 2010 – from 1 in 150 to 1 in 68, making it the country's fastest-growing developmental disability.




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