b'29The new research from Carnegies Ethan Greenblatt (right) and Allan Spradling (left) reveals that genetic factors underlying the most common cause of autism, fragile X syndrome, and potentially other related disorders result from defects in the cells ability to create unusually large proteins.Image courtesy Jeremy Hayesby even 50%. Most of these proteins shared theFuture research could focus on large protein common feature that they are much larger thanmanufacturing and its link to aging or disorders, such average. as Alzheimers and ALS. Reducing FMR1 in eggs also caused problems when the eggs were fertilized and started to developControlFmr1-depletedinto offspring. Many of the eggs failed to develop successfully if they had been stored in the ovary, which is reminiscent of the human ovarian failure syndrome. Other fertilized FMR1-lacking eggs created offspring with nervous system defects reminiscent of fragile X syndrome.The researchers believe that FMR1 boosts the production of critical large proteins that are difficult for eggs or neurons to manufacture. Without FMR1, egg cells have too little of these proteins and goThis image shows an example of defects in the development of bad prematurely during storage. Since FMR1 alsothe embryonic central nervous system in stored eggs that lacked functions in the brain, the loss of large proteins in thethe FMR1 gene. Unstored eggs showed normal development. Similar to the spinal cord, the image on the left is a normal brains of fragile X syndrome patients could explainventral nerve cord with functioning FMR1. The ladder-like ventral their autism symptoms. nerve cords on the right are from stored eggs lacking FMR1.Image courtesy Ethan Greenblatt'