Paris: The largest-ever genetic investigation into autism has thrown up new clues about the inherited pathways for this disorder. In a paper published online by the journal Nature Genetics, scientists describe an innovative approach for trawling through the human genome to search for genetic susceptibilities. They took samples from 1,168 families which had at least two autistic members, and looked for areas with common genetic mutations. They also screened these families’ DNA for so-called copy number variations (CNV). The work suggests a previously unidentified region of Chromosome 11 may be at fault, especially among females with autism, and also points the finger at genes responsible for neurexin.