These results are the culmination of phase 1 of the Autism Genome Project, which began in 2002 with the sharing of samples and data from labs around the world. Phase 2 will follow up on the leads discovered in the first phase. The $14.5 million project will receive funding from various institutions such as the National Institutes of Health and Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to increasing the awareness of and finding a cure for autism spectrum disorders.
"Autism is a very difficult condition for families—communication is taken for granted by parents of healthy children but is so greatly missed by those with autistic children," says study co-author, Jonathan Green, a child psychiatrist at the University of Manchester in England. "We hope that these exciting results may represent a step on the way to further new treatments in the future."