It's a small Keystone meeting on the pathophysiology of autistic syndromes here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but you can feel the excitement among the 100 or so attendees, as they muddle their way through early data in this growing area of research. There are only nine posters being presented today -- but, according to co-host Pat Levitt from the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, all are important. This is in contrast to the last Keystone I attended on stem cell biology in Whistler, British Columbia, in 2006, which was several times the size, with tens of posters every night. (Interesting, given that autism rates among children have skyrocketed, while the field of stem cell research has so far produced more hype than results.) So much about autism, a condition marked by socialization problems, remains a mystery - linkurl:genes;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15820/ vs. environment, one disorder vs. multiple, the role of brain volume, etc. This...
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