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Animals in autism research

A special report in Spectrum, detailing how a variety of animal models are used to help improve our understanding of autism, has been published.

The series of articles explore how researchers can exploit studies in unusual models such as roundworms and flies, to help understand the effects of some gene mutations commonly associated with autism.

There is also a timeline which highlights how research using animals, over the last hundred years, has helped uncover more information about the condition.

Among the other animal model studies highlighted were those with fish and frogs, that were used to understand symptoms of autism, such as digestion or cardiovascular problems.

In more obscure research, birds and octopi have been studied thanks to parallels, in behaviour and communication, between these animals and humans.


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