Image: Patrick Morgan

Autism spectrum disorder: insights into convergent mechanisms from transcriptomics

Latest Reviews

  • Review Article |

    DNA methylation is the primary epigenetic modification in bacteria, but a lack of suitable methods has hampered its study. Now, new sequencing technologies, including single-molecule, real-time sequencing and nanopore sequencing, are providing new opportunities for studying bacterial methylomes.

    • John Beaulaurier
    • , Eric E. Schadt
    •  & Gang Fang
  • Review Article |

    Improvements to livestock genetics will be critical to tackling the looming food crisis. Achieving this goal will require implementation of improved genomic technologies and better use of a wider range of genomic information.

    • Michel Georges
    • , Carole Charlier
    •  & Ben Hayes
  • Review Article |

    Disruptions to the epigenome occur during the pathogenesis of various human diseases. In this Review, Berdasco and Esteller describe the challenges and progress of harnessing epigenetic changes for clinical application, including for diagnostics, disease classification and therapeutics. They discuss applications to diverse diseases, such as cancer, neurological disease, immune disorders and viral infections.

    • María Berdasco
    •  & Manel Esteller
  • Review Article |

    PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) have numerous crucial biological roles, particularly transposon silencing in the germ line. In this Review, the authors describe our latest understanding of piRNA biogenesis and functions across diverse species, highlighting how, despite the universal importance of transposon control, different species have evolved intriguingly distinct mechanistic routes to achieve this.

    • Deniz M. Ozata
    • , Ildar Gainetdinov
    • , Ansgar Zoch
    • , Dónal O’Carroll
    •  & Phillip D. Zamore
  • Review Article |

    Liquid biopsies enable non-invasive, longitudinal analysis of tumour components (including circulating tumour cells and circulating tumour DNA) in bodily fluids such as blood. However, their analytical and clinical validity must be rigorously demonstrated before they are adopted for precision oncology.

    • Ellen Heitzer
    • , Imran S. Haque
    • , Charles E. S. Roberts
    •  & Michael R. Speicher
  • Review Article |

    Transcriptome profiling in different brain regions has revealed distinct patterns of gene and non-coding RNA expression, as well as alternative splicing, in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The authors review these ASD-associated signatures and the resulting mechanistic insights into ASD.

    • Mathieu Quesnel-Vallières
    • , Robert J. Weatheritt
    • , Sabine P. Cordes
    •  & Benjamin J. Blencowe

News & Comment

  • Research Highlight |

    Proximity-CLIP, a method that combines proximity-based protein biotinylation and UV crosslinking, profiles the transcriptome and ribonucleoproteins in subcellular compartments.

    • Linda Koch
  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Nature Genetics reports the first genome-wide significant loci for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and implicates biologically informative genes, such as FOXP2, as contributors to its aetiology.

    • Dorothy Clyde
  • Comment |

    This Comment discusses how data from smartphones or wearables could be used for behavioural phenotyping, knowledge that may help to reveal the genetic and environmental contributions to disease-related behavioural variation.

    • Nelson B. Freimer
    •  & David C. Mohr
  • Comment |

    The lack of family health history experienced by most adopted persons can represent a marked disadvantage for these individuals. Genetic testing has the potential to reliably and usefully fill informational gaps, but considerable challenges need to be addressed to assemble an economic case for affordability.

    • Thomas May
  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Cell examines the pervasiveness of a classic form of non-genetic inheritance involving transposable element DNA methylation in mice. It reports that non-genetic inheritance is likely to be the exception rather than the rule across other loci genome-wide.

    • Darren J. Burgess
  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Nature shows the feasibility of using the CRISPR–Cas9 system for efficient and precise genotypic correction of pathogenic mutations without a donor template.

    • Ross Cloney


HIV research

Chris Ryan

HIV research

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) – the etiologic agent of AIDS – is one of the most intensively studied disease organism in history. Since its first identification in the early 1980s, HIV has transformed into a pandemic, globally infecting more 36 million people and annually contributing to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of patients – particularly in low income countries.

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