New genetic risk factor for developing autism spectrum disorder identified

A new systematic analysis has been applied to a cohort of 2,300 families who have a single child affected with autism. The study focused on identifying and characterizing low-lying genetic mutations that may have been missed in previous research, given these mutations are only present in a fraction of the bulk DNA of an individual.

Even after reforms, few ineffective teachers are identified as ineffective, study finds

The study examined the impact of reforms made to teacher evaluation systems in the wake of a 2009 report that highlighted the failure of US public schools to recognize and act on teacher effectiveness. They found that despite reforms, only a third of teachers perceived by evaluators as ineffective were rated as ineffective. Using surveys and interviews with evaluators in a school district in the Northeast, the researchers uncovered what factors contribute to the discrepancy, and make policy recommendations.

New way to treat HIV identified

Medical treatment that targets human proteins rather than ever-mutating viruses may one day help HIV-positive people whose bodies have built a resistance to ‘cocktails’ currently used to keep them healthy. Now researchers have pinpointed a protein variant that can be targeted to prevent the human immunodeficiency virus from harming HIV-positive individuals.

Mechanism identified for resilience in people with high risk of bipolar disorder

A brain mechanism has been identified in siblings of bipolar patients that makes them resilient to bipolar disorder. The results suggest that the brain is able to adapt to the biological risk for bipolar disorder and open new avenues in pursuing further research to enhance resilience in those at risk and currently affected.