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Autism in the family tree

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Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, affects about 1 in 36 children according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. The condition can run in the family or emerge spontaneously.

Over the last two decades, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) scientists have developed a genetic theory that strives to explain the autism rates found across the population. They named it the Unified Theory for the Genetics of Autism. Then, they put their theory to the test.

Using easy to follow motion-infographics, this video illustrates what CSHL scientists and their partners have discovered from studying the genomes of hundreds of moms, dads, and children with ASD. It turns out siblings with ASD tend to share more than 50% of their father’s genome. See what scientists think might be going on.

Read the related story: Siblings with autism share more of dad’s genome, not mom’s