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Spectrum: Autism Research News


Brianna Abbott

Contributing writer, Spectrum

Brianna Abbott is a contributing writer at Spectrum. She is a science journalist based in New York City, covering neuroscience, health and the environment, and is a graduate of the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University. She has a B.A. in chemistry and a B.A. in creative writing from Providence College in Rhode Island.


February 2019
head mold shown in two pieces

Stabilizing head mold leads to sharper brain images

by  /  15 February 2019

A customizable Styrofoam mold minimizes head movements during brain scans, enabling researchers to produce clearer images.

December 2018

Technique maps center of balance in zebrafish brains

by  /  14 December 2018

A new method enables researchers to plot activity in the zebrafish brain’s system for spatial orientation and balance.

November 2018
Large group of different lab mice: white mice, black and white mice and light brown mice, all in a cage on wood chips.

Database compares protein function across dozens of mouse strains

by  /  23 November 2018

A new resource details the protein-coding portions of the genomes of 36 popular mouse strains.

October 2018
Recordings from the mouse visual cortex flash pink and orange.

New tool provides real-time glimpse of brain activity in mice

by  /  26 October 2018

A transparent set of electrodes enables researchers to simultaneously record electrical signals and visualize neurons in the brains of awake mice.

September 2018
Mouse brain photograph shows the area of drug delivery highlighted in red.

Brain implant mutes seizure-like activity in mice

by  /  28 September 2018

A new brain implant pumps chemical signals directly into a target region to ease seizure-like activity in mice.

August 2018

Two new sensors track chemical signals in brains of living animals

by  /  24 August 2018

Novel sensors enable researchers to monitor the activity of two signaling chemicals in the brains of living fruit flies and mice.

June 2018

New technique scales up ability to find DNA tags in genomes

by  /  8 June 2018

A new method helps researchers map the patterns of chemical tags in large batches of cells.

Baby chick on white background.

Chick model of epilepsy-drug exposure may mimic signs of autism

by  /  1 June 2018

Exposing fertilized chicken eggs to valproic acid, an epilepsy drug, yields chicks with apparent social deficits.

May 2018
a group of elementary school age kids in a huddle, talking.

Use of certain social strategies linked to anxiety in autism

by  /  23 May 2018

Children with autism often have problems understanding others’ thoughts; those who use mental strategies to compensate for these problems may be unusually anxious.

Visualization of networks of individual neurons in the brain.

New map reveals web of connections from single neurons

by  /  18 May 2018

A new map reveals the routes of individual neurons in visual regions of the mouse brain.