Gene-editing and autism research is ‘fucking insane’

A team of scientists from the University of Sydney and Melbourne have identified a gene that may be responsible for some of the common symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, including repetitive behaviours, aggression, hyperactivity and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

They believe that a single mutation in a gene linked to ADHD may cause the condition in children with the disorder.

The research was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Professor Daniel Larkin, who led the research, said he was “shocked” to learn that the gene that affects ADHD was located on chromosome 5.

“We don’t know whether this gene is responsible for ADHD, but we think it’s probably a contributing factor to it,” Professor Larkin said.

“I think there’s lots of genes that play a role in ADHD and it’s very possible that a small number of these genes may contribute to the condition.”

Professor Larkin and his colleagues identified a single gene in their study that was associated with ADHD in children from both Australian and European backgrounds.

He said that the findings could help explain how the disorder was linked to the birth defects that occur in children who inherit the condition from both parents.

“The way the genes work is that they are really very small, very highly conserved, that there’s so much of them that they’re not going to make much of a difference to the individual,” Professor Lea said.

The findings are a reminder that there is a significant number of people with ADHD who are not affected by the disorder, but that the disorder is also inherited from both parent.

“This study provides important insights into what the genetic makeup of ADHD might be and how it relates to developmental disorders like autism,” Professor Lesley said.

She said it was important that research into gene therapy was being done to identify genes that might be beneficial to ADHD in the future.

“In a world where we have so much knowledge about genetics, we really need to know if we can use this knowledge to improve our ability to develop more effective treatments for ADHD and other developmental disorders,” she said.

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