Researchers have debuted two mouse models of autism made using the gene-editing tool CRISPR. Both strains lack one functional copy of CHD8, a gene with strong ties to autism.
CRISPR allows researchers to quickly and efficiently insert specific mutations into single-cell mouse embryos. Several teams have used the method to make mouse models for other conditions, including Rett syndrome, an autism-related condition. The new mice represent the first use of the method to make models expressly for autism.