The creation of a DNA databank by researchers from 11 universities should spur the growth of knowledge about the genetic basis of autism. Hopefully the 3 year project will shed much needed light on a subject often characterized by heated emotion and entrenched positions.
11 research universities creating DNA databank for autism research with $10 million grant
The Associated Press
Published: January 10, 2007
ANN ARBOR, Michigan: Researchers at 11 universities will create a databank of DNA samples from 3,000 autism patients in an effort to identify different kinds of autism and develop treatments.
The University of Michigan will lead the three-year, $10 million (€7.7 million) effort funded by the Simons Foundation, the school announced this week.
The New York-based philanthropic group aims to spend $100 million (€77 million) long-term to find a cure for the developmental disorder that affects one in 200 children.
Adults and children with autism lack normal brain development in areas linked to social interaction and communication, but scientists do not know how many subtypes may exist. The gene data could help identify those types and treat newborns, said Catherine Lord, director of the Ann Arbor university's Autism and Communication Disorders Center.