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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

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May 2022

Autism and the complete human genome: Q&A with Evan Eichler

by  /  10 May 2022

Scientists have at last filled in the missing gaps — an advance likely to inform every aspect of autism genetics research, Eichler says.

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April 2022

Fruit flies help reveal effects of autism-linked mutations

by  /  13 April 2022

Dozens of rare mutations of unknown effects seen in autistic people cause significant changes to fruit flies, suggesting they are linked to the condition.

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March 2022
Lindsay Shea standing in front of a white board.

Beyond the bench: A conversation with Lindsay Shea

by  /  11 March 2022

Lindsay Shea talks about her work, her “dirt kitchen,” fried sticky buns and why her lab doesn’t have a mascot.

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February 2022
Woman going over homework with distracted child.

Early language loss in autistic children not tied to later communication problems

by  /  28 February 2022

Many autistic children experience language regression for about three months in early childhood, but this lapse does not appear to foretell future communication issues.

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January 2022
Overhead view of crowd of people walking in Copenhagen city square.

Population study downgrades some copy number variants’ impact on autism

by  /  28 January 2022

Some copy number variants may boost a person’s chances of having autism, but to a lesser extent than previously thought.

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November 2021
UBE3A expression in mouse brain slices, shown in green.

One-shot gene therapy for Angelman syndrome shows promise in mice

by  /  29 November 2021

A potential new gene therapy delivered via a single injection mimics ratios of proteins normally found in cells.

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Dr. Audrey Brumback in her lab with her hair and lab coat flying out behind her.

Beyond the bench: A conversation with Audrey Brumback

by  /  3 November 2021

Audrey Brumback riffs about volunteering in Mexico, having a lab next door to her husband’s and why she sometimes cries at work.

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October 2021
Multicolored diagram comparing genetic burdens amongst non-autistic people, autistic people who carry specific rare mutations and autistic people who lack such mutations.

Rare mutations prevalent among autistic people

by  /  29 October 2021

A quarter of autistic people carry rare genetic variations linked to autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions, but these mutations alone may not be enough to lead to autism.

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Black CDKL5 mice in a lab setting--three mice in a cage.

Brain stimulation improves memory in autism mouse models

by  /  15 October 2021

Jolting a bundle of nerve fibers deep in the brain restores learning and memory in mice with mutations of the autism-linked gene CDKL5.

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August 2021
Closeup of tiny newborn hand gripping tip of adult thumb.

Large study strengthens link between autism, preterm birth

by  /  11 August 2021

Premature birth is tied to an increased chance of having autism, according to the largest study yet looking for a potential connection.

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