Director’s Blog It’s difficult to overstate the impact that genomic medicine is having on biomedical research and practice. For cancer diagnostics, rare disease therapeutics, and fields like microbiomics and infectious diseases, the advent of cheap, fast, precise genomic sequencing has been a game changer. What about mental disorders

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Director’s Blog Every cell in your body has the same DNA with about 23, 000 genes. Yet blood cells and brain cells look different, have different proteins, and serve very different functions.

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Director’s Blog Last week’s autism news was about prevalence. The CDC reported a 78 percent increase in autism prevalence since 2002. This week’s autism news is about genetics— three papers in Nature describe new genes associated with autism

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Director’s Blog Some moments in science are so transformative that they spill out of the usual academic circles to become headlines in the New York Times and, for a day or two, part of a public conversation. This summer we had two such stories from diverse areas of science: the Curiosity landing on Mars and the report of spontaneous mutations transmitted by older fathers. Earlier this month another report – actually 30 separate papers – marked a transformative moment in our discovery of the genome.

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Director’s Blog Julius Axelrod was one of NIMH’s greatest scientists and mentors for five decades until his death in 2004 at age 92. In addition to his many discoveries – which led to his 1970 Nobel Prize – Julie, as he was known, was famous for his aphorisms.

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Director’s Blog As in past years, once again I venture to suggest a “top 10” list for NIMH based on the most notable discoveries and events of the past 12 months. This year several of the major breakthroughs were not funded by NIMH and not directly focused on mental disorders, but they suggested new vistas for biology that will almost certainly change the way we understand serious mental illness and neurodevelopmental disorders.

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