Researchers looked for possible causes for the condition not in genes themselves, but in the “epigenetic tags” that help regulate genes’ activity Scientists have found that DNA from the sperm of men whose children showed early signs of autism shows distinct patterns of “regulatory tags” that could contribute to the condition. It is estimated one in every 100 people has autism spectrum disorder in the UK and although most experts agree that autism is usually inherited as it tends to run in families, and studies have identified some culprit genes, it remains unexplained.