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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Author

Angie Voyles Askham

Senior reporter

Angie Voyles Askham is Senior Reporter for Spectrum, where she covers neural circuits and gene therapy, among other topics. She proposed and writes Spectrum Launch, a monthly newsletter for early-career researchers. Before joining Spectrum in 2020, she worked in radio journalism and academic publishing. Voyles Askham has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from NYU and a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Vanderbilt University. You can email her at [email protected] or find her on Twitter @avaskham.

Contact Info

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March 2022
Illustration of hand holding compass.

Spectrum Launch: Pivoting to industry, the importance of outreach, and the optimal number of grad students

by  /  1 March 2022

Andrew Jaffe, head of data sciences at Neumora Therapeutics, answers Spectrum’s questions about how his new career in biotech differs from his previous one in academia.

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February 2022

A new hub for participatory research: Q&A with Zachary Williams

by  /  22 February 2022

Last month, the International Society for Autism Research launched the INSAR Community Collaborator Request (ICCR), an online forum to foster collaborations between autistic people and autism researchers. Its creator, Zachary Williams, explains how researchers can make the most of this new resource.

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Micrograph of neurons with excess neurons due to excess MECP2 expression.

Protein complex points to new route to Rett syndrome

by  /  18 February 2022

Mutations in a newly identified protein complex that interacts with the Rett protein also lead to a Rett-like condition in mice, researchers say.

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Gut molecule linked to decreased myelination in mouse brains

by  /  14 February 2022

Targeting the molecule, 4EPS, with an experimental drug may be a way to ease anxiety for autistic people, the researchers say. But not everyone is convinced.

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Three autism-linked genes converge on tweaks to cells’ timing

by  /  2 February 2022

Mutations in all three accelerate the maturation of inhibitory neurons, which could upset the brain’s balance of excitation and inhibition early in development.

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January 2022
Micrograph showing distinct RNA species found in CA1 hippocampal neuronal cell bodies (yellow) and dendrites (red) undergoing compartmentalized RNA regulation.

Location prompts fragile X protein to flip its function

by  /  31 January 2022

The protein, FMRP, shapes cell signaling near synapses but switches to regulate genes in the cell body, according to new research.

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Illustration shows a road going into the distance, seen from the driver's point of view.

Spectrum Launch: Writing grants, celebrating milestones and interviewing for grad school

by  /  31 January 2022

A researcher and science officer give tips for getting started with grant writing; scientists on Twitter explain why they went tenure-track; and a neurobiologist discusses why the field’s next generation needs to learn to code.

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Micrograph of intestinal bacteria.

Infection in pregnant mice ups risk of gut problems in pups

by  /  18 January 2022

Infection during pregnancy can tweak a mouse’s gut microbiome in ways that have lasting effects on her pups’ immune system and increase their chances of gut inflammation, a new study suggests.

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Normal mouse brain (left) vs brain in mouse lacking POGZ gene (right)

Top autism-linked gene boosts DNA accessibility during development

by  /  10 January 2022

Loss of the POGZ gene in mice makes certain genes inaccessible and prevents their expression.

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December 2021
Illustration of hand holding compass.

Spectrum Launch: Time management, job prospects and escaping the ‘holding zone’

by  /  17 December 2021

Most working scientists aren’t optimistic about their career prospects, according to a Nature survey; expecting passion may be detrimental in academia; and there are new funding opportunities on the horizon, with upcoming deadlines.

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