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One of the Nation's Leading Autism Research Centers

Narrator: This is Science Today. One of the nation's leading centers for autism research is the M.I.N.D. Institute at the University of California, Davis. Dr. David Amaral, research director of the M.I.N.D. Institute, says the center has grown over the years.

Amaral: We have a real team that ranges all the way from molecular biology, genetics up to immunology, up to brain science, up to even treatment research.

Narrator: Recently, the M.I.N.D. Institute, which stands for Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, launched the Autism Phenome Project. Amaral explains that the goal is to look at all aspects of a child's biology and behavior.

Amaral: We give them a soup-to-nuts workup, so that they have an enhanced medical work up, we do an MRI of their brain, look at immune system, we have geneticists that makes sure their genes are functioning properly. And what we hope is that by getting all this information on a large group of kids, things are going to start hanging together.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.