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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.

October 2016

‘Synonymous’ mosaic mutations may up autism risk

by  /  20 October 2016

A type of mutation long thought to be harmless has turned out to play an unexpected role in autism.

Heavy pill on scale

Side effects of meds weigh heavily on children with autism

by  /  12 October 2016

A sweeping study of military health records reveals that children who take drugs to ease autism features are at risk for obesity-related conditions.

September 2016

Barcode trick traces paths of thousands of neurons in brain

by  /  30 September 2016

A new method labels neurons with barcodes to deduce their routes through the brain.


Proteins that spark learning may play key part in autism

by  /  29 September 2016

A new study ties autism risk to a core team of proteins that facilitate neuronal signaling as an animal learns.


Exercise gives children with autism jump on social skills

by  /  22 September 2016

Dozens of small studies suggest that physical activity offers behavioral benefits for children with autism.


Tooth fairy delivers drug target for boosting social interest

by  /  16 September 2016

Cells derived from the dental pulp of children with Williams syndrome hint at a treatment approach for autism.


Mutations tied to autism rife in ‘junk’ DNA

by  /  9 September 2016

More than one-third of the spontaneous mutations linked to autism crop up in genomic segments that do not code for genes.


Imaging database for autism aims to outgrow quality concerns

by  /  1 September 2016

The biggest bank of brain scans from people with autism just doubled in size, boosting the odds of spotting a signal in the noisy data.

August 2016

Questions for Hyungbae Kwon: Building bridges in the brain

by  /  30 August 2016

A new study reveals how chemicals in the newborn brain forge connections between neurons.


Large study confirms high autism risk in ‘baby sibs’

by  /  22 August 2016

Children who have an older sibling with autism are 14 times more likely to have the condition than are those without a family history of the condition.