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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.

August 2016

Maps reveal genetic landscape of developing monkey brain

by  /  12 August 2016

Researchers have charted gene expression in the brains of rhesus macaques from before birth into adulthood.


Common brain signature marks autism, attention deficit

by  /  8 August 2016

Children with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder all show similar disruptions in brain structure.


Software supplies snapshot of gene expression across brain

by  /  5 August 2016

A new tool provides speedy analysis of gene expression in individual neurons from postmortem brain tissue.

July 2016

Protein duo can tweak signaling balance among neurons

by  /  29 July 2016

A fusion of two proteins can silence the activity of specific neurons in the zebrafish spinal cord.


For children with autism, multiple languages may be a boon

by  /  25 July 2016

Most children who learn more than one language gain valuable skills, and researchers say this may also be true for children with autism.


Epilepsy in family members raises risk of autism

by  /  21 July 2016

A study of more than 85,000 people with epilepsy and their immediate relatives suggests that epilepsy and autism share biological roots.


Autism gene wires social reward circuits in mouse brains

by  /  14 July 2016

Mice with mutations in SHANK3, a leading autism candidate, may lack the neural wiring that would compel them to seek social contact.


Single microbe may restore social behaviors in mice

by  /  7 July 2016

A single species of bacteria reverses autism-like features in mice exposed to a high-fat diet in utero — but researchers question the findings’ relevance to people.


Many women, men with autism harm themselves

by  /  1 July 2016

Adults with autism, particularly women, deliberately hurt themselves much more often than other adults do.

June 2016

Aberrant gene doses disrupt ‘optimal’ brain architecture

by  /  27 June 2016

Too few or too many copies of a genetic region linked to autism produce similar effects on intelligence and social skills but opposite effects on brain structure.