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Autism Spectrum Disorders: From genotypes to phenotypes

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196807 Year: Pages: 93 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-680-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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This Research Topic covers the pathogenetic processes in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that underpin the translation of genetic vulnerability to clinically significant symptoms. Available research data in ASD suggests that it is a neural connectivity disorder and that the social communication and related neurobehavioural symptoms result from reduced synchronization between key "social brain" regions. These interconnected neural systems can be understood through the relationship between functionally relevant anatomic areas and neurochemical pathways, the programming of which are genetically modulated during neurodevelopment and mediated through a range of epigenetic and environmental modulators. Elucidating the underlying molecular mechanisms can provide an invaluable window for understanding the neural wiring that regulates higher brain functions and consequent clinical phenotypes. In keeping with the multi modal and diverse origins of ASD, this Research Topic explores the genetic underpinnings and environmental modulation in the aetiology; neural substrates, biomarkers and endophenotypes that underlie clinical characteristics; as well as neurochemical pathways and pathophysiological mechanisms that pave the way for therapeutic interventions. Furthermore, since genetically mediated deficits and consequent functional impairments involve activity-dependent synapse development that depends on postnatal learning and experience, the trajectory towards the final clinical expression could be modulated by early interventions that exploit the neuronal maturation and brain plasticity. However, identifying these diverse pathogenetic processes and tailoring interventions would require subtyping ASD into homogeneous subgroups. In this regard, this topic covers the current state of evidence in the literature through topic reviews as well as ongoing original work that provides tangible hypotheses and directions for future research.

Evolution of Organismal Form: From Regulatory Interactions to Developmental Processes and Biological Patterns

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450978 Year: Pages: 118 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-097-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Botany --- Ecology --- Genetics --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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Today's biodiversity is the spectacular product of hundreds of millions of years of evolution. Understanding how this diversity of living organisms appeared is one of the most intriguing and challenging question in biology. Because organismal morphology is established during embryonic development, and because morphological traits diversified from ancestral forms during evolution, it can be inferred that changes in the mechanisms controlling embryonic development are instrumental for morphological evolution. This syllogism lies at the very heart of a new discipline called Evo-Devo which is centered in the identification of the cellular and genetic mechanisms that, through modifications in developmental programmes, were at the base of morphological innovations during evolution. After the discovery of the broad conservation of gene content and regulatory networks in the animal kingdom, as well as in plants, Evo-Devo is orienting towards the study of differences through experimental and functional approaches. Given the wide range of species, gene families, and developmental processes considered, a concerted effort is still required to shed light on the genetic, cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in phenotypic evolution. It is a particularly exciting time for this field of evolutionary developmental biology, as the advent of novel imaging, genome editing and sequencing technologies allows the study of almost any organism in ways that were unthinkable only a few years ago. Therefore, the aim of this Frontiers Research Topic is to gather an original collection of experimental approaches, concepts and hypotheses reflecting the current diversity of the Evo-Devo field. We have organized the articles according to the mechanistic depth with which they tackle specific evolutionary issues. Hence, comparisons of expression patterns have been grouped in Chapter 1, changes in regulatory interactions and gene networks are presented in Chapter 2, while Chapter 3 focuses on the evolution of developmental processes and biological patterns.

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