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The unusual suspects

With no obvious culprit in sight, geneticists do broader sweeps to identify autism’s causes

It’s a high-stakes version of the board game Clue. Scientist-detectives probing the origins of autism must contend with an enormous cast of characters. Within the past year, researchers have found dozens, possibly hundreds, of rare genetic mutations that may contribute to the disorder, and a handful of common mutations may also be involved.

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