Genetically modified monkeys showing autism-like behaviours could help the development of strategies to treat the symptoms of autism disorders, according to researchers. Currently one of the major challenges for researchers studying autism spectrum disorders is the lack of animals models that reproduce symptoms typically found in human patients.

These monkeys, and their offspring, show behavioural changes such as repetitive motor behaviours, decreased social interaction and increased levels of anxiety.

Original research paper published in Nature on January 25, 2015.

Names and affiliations of selected authors

Zilong Qiu, Institute of Neuroscience, CAS Key Laboratory of Primate Neurobiology, State Key Laboratory of Neuroscience, CAS Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China