Los Angeles: Third of the world`s largest collection of brain samples used for autism research have been damaged following a freezer malfunction at a Harvard- affiliated hospital, in what could be a major setback to the study of the disorder. An official at the renowned brain bank in the McLean Hospital, Massachusetts discovered that the freezer had shut down in late May, but did not trigger warning alarms. The hospital authorities later found 150 thawed brains that had turned dark from decay; about a third of them were part of a collection of autism brains, reported the Boston Globe newspaper. Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain`s normal development of social and communication skills, according to US National Library of Medicine.
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