OYM92: SHANKs for the Reference Letter

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Figure 8 from this week's article showing stereotyped behavior in mutant mice.

Figure 8 from this week’s article showing stereotyped behavior in mutant mice.

This Week on the On Your Mind Neuroscience Podcast:

It’s the first episode of 2016 and we’re catching up with our co-hosts and all that’s been on their minds.  Kat’s pre-winter break plan to get everything finished has backfired bigtime, but she’s learned a valuable lesson in deadline realism.  While she’s frantically trying to catch up, she’s read a story about a disastrous press release that’s lead her to an online organization that systematically reviews and grades medical news stories.

Meanwhile, Liam’s had a bit of a head start back to work and is imminently awaiting the arrival of some very important results.  While he waits, he’s reading up on some (intentionally?) misleading charts that have made the rounds this past year.  We’re also talking about whether it’s cool to ghost write your own reference letters, and the Luminosity lawsuit before it’s onto this week’s paper!

This week, we’re talking about an article in Neuron that looks at the Shank3 gene as a link between autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia.  The authors have generated two novel mouse lines with truncated Shank3 proteins analogous to mutations in human patients with either ASD or schizophrenia.  Then, using a massive battery of electrophysiological, biochemical and behavioral experiments at two developmental time points, this paper presents one of the first experimental investigations that we’ve ever seen, into similarities and differences between these two disorders.

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