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Study finds parallels between unresponsive honey bees, autism in humans

Socially unresponsive bees share something fundamental with autistic humans, new research finds.

Honey bees that consistently fail to respond to obvious social cues share something fundamental with autistic humans, researchers report in a new study. Genes most closely associated with autism spectrum disorders in humans are regulated differently in unresponsive honey bees than in their more responsive nest mates, the study found.

The findings, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, appear to be unique to genes associated with autism and not to other behavioral disorders in humans. The study offers an early glimpse of the molecular heritage shared across the animal kingdom, the researchers say, and offers tantalizing clues about the evolution of social behavior.

Read the full article at the Illinois News Bureau


Publication Date: 07/31/2017
Photo credits: L. Brian Stauffer
Editor: Diana Yates