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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Author

Charles Q. Choi

Contributing Writer, Spectrum

Charles Q. Choi is a science reporter who has written for Scientific American, The New York Times, Wired, Science, Nature, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Newsday, Popular Science and National Geographic News, among others. He writes news articles for Spectrum. 

For his work, he has hunted for mammoth DNA in Yukon, faced gunmen in Guatemala, entered the sarcophagus housing radioactive ruins in Chernobyl and looked for mammal fossils in Wyoming based on guidance from an artificial intelligence. In his spare time, Charles has traveled to all seven continents, including scaling the side of an iceberg in Antarctica, investigating mummies from Siberia, snorkeling in the Galapagos, excavating ancient Maya ruins in Belize, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, camping in the Outback and avoiding thieves near Shaolin Temple.

Contact Info

[email protected]

June 2023
Research image of gene-edited mouse liver cells compared to controls.

Latest ‘prime-editing’ tools tackle delivery, safety issues

by  /  27 June 2023

The gene-editing advances make it easier to target specific tissues in mice and detect off-target effects.

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May 2023
Composite research image of organoids at several stages of development.

Genetic background sways effects of autism-linked mutation

by  /  18 May 2023

Experiments offer clues to why certain mutations are associated with autism in some people and not others.

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April 2023
Research image of radial glial cells in a human brain organoid.

Immune molecule alters cellular makeup of human brain organoids

by  /  5 April 2023

The changes may help explain the link between maternal infection and autism, though more research is needed.

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March 2023

Wearable device records, stimulates single neurons in people on the go

by  /  17 March 2023

The tool connects to electrodes implanted in people with epilepsy or other brain conditions and can monitor and regulate neurons during everyday activities.

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February 2023
Brain scans displaying activity in areas linked with social behavior.

People’s perceptions of ‘social’ animations don’t always square with researchers’ labels

by  /  22 February 2023

The finding calls into question differences between autistic and non-autistic people on a decades-old theory-of-mind test involving interacting geometric shapes.

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December 2022
Illustration of a pregnant woman seated next to a large diagram of the brain featuring chromosomes, bacteria and other microbes.

The link between maternal infection and autism, explained

by  /  13 December 2022

Having an infection during pregnancy is tied to a small increase in the chances of having an autistic child, but the connection may not be causal.

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lllustration of the junction between two nerve cells.

Multi-omics study captures CNTNAP2’s far-ranging effects

by  /  8 December 2022

The in-depth approach shows mutations in the autism-linked gene disrupt neuronal growth and communication, as well as mitochondrial gene expression.

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November 2022
A pattern in the style of genetic sequencing forms into the shape of the African continent.

Africa’s genomic role: Q&A with Conrad Iyegbe and Niran Okewole

by  /  28 November 2022

Psychiatric genomics promises to shed light on the genetic basis of autism, but it’s vital to include Africa in this research, Iyegbe and Okewole say.

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October 2022
Illustration of an X chromosome against a black background.

X-chromosome variants help explain autism’s sex bias

by  /  24 October 2022

The rare variants are also linked to ADHD and Tourette syndrome, two other conditions that disproportionately affect boys and men.

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Conceptual illustration of two DNA helixes with several overlapping portions showing common and differing genes.

Genome scan spots common variant differences between autism and ADHD

by  /  12 October 2022

Common variants in five regions of the genome may determine whether someone has one condition versus the other.

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