Hundreds of genes have now been linked to autism risk, and to understand how these influence biology and behavior, researchers have been manipulating these genes in diverse model systems. Mice have been the most widely used, largely because of their ease of genome manipulation. However, as new genome editing techniques are refined, disease-associated gene mutations can now be readily applied to other species, including rats. To explore this, the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) and the Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain (SIDB) hosted a virtual workshop on April 26 and 29, 2021 to discuss the types of studies that might best exploit the advantages afforded by rat models, specify scientific priorities, assess the need for cross-species validation and evaluate next steps.
Read this at SFARI.