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Spectrum: Autism Research News


Ann Griswold

Science writer

Ann Griswold is a San Francisco-based freelance science writer specializing in biotechnology and health. Her work has appeared in publications including Scientific American, Slate and The Atlantic. She was a staff news writer for Spectrum from 2015 to 2017, and continues to contribute news and Deep Dive articles.

Ann has a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of Florida and an M.S. in science journalism from the Johns Hopkins University.

November 2016

Rising star: Vanessa Bal traverses fine work-life balance

by  /  14 November 2016

Parent, partner and professional — the need to fulfill all of these roles at once complicates Vanessa Bal’s life.


Questions for Yael Niv: How to fight sexism in science

by  /  14 November 2016

Male scientists typically dominate speaker lineups at conferences. The skewed gender ratio stunts women’s careers — and progress in science.


Silencing select brain cells triggers social deficits in mice

by  /  14 November 2016

Switching off a specific set of neurons that dampen brain activity causes mice to lose interest in social interaction.


Brain scans connect autism with schizophrenia, depression

by  /  13 November 2016

A new tool spots shared patterns of brain connectivity among people who have autism, schizophrenia or major depressive disorder.

chart of seasonal rates

Autism rates highest among babies conceived in winter

by  /  10 November 2016

Exposure to influenza and a lack of sunlight may drive the increased risk of autism.


Support helps some children with autism socialize at school

by  /  2 November 2016

Certain conditions, such as large class size, may help children with mild autism gain a foothold in their school’s social network.

female child crying

Questions for Bishop, Havdahl: Tantrums trick autism tests

by  /  1 November 2016

Children with low intelligence or behavioral issues — but not autism — may meet the criteria for autism on standard diagnostic tests.

October 2016

Many people harbor large mutations linked to autism

by  /  24 October 2016

DNA deletions and duplications tied to autism crop up in people without the condition, too.

boy reading book under covers with flashlight

Tests unmask key traits in people with intellectual disability

by  /  21 October 2016

A set of seven standard tests can accurately assess cognitive capacities in people with various types of intellectual disability.


Drug duo may reverse effects of Rett mutations in cells

by  /  21 October 2016

A pair of existing drugs normalizes the appearance and activity of neurons derived from the skin of individuals with Rett syndrome.