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Spectrum: Autism Research News


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.

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August 2015

Brain hormone levels linked to social deficits in autism

by  /  28 August 2015

Children with autism who have low vasopressin levels struggle to understand the thoughts of others.

July 2015

Frayed nerve bundle may spur autism’s motor, social deficits

by  /  14 July 2015

A group of nerves at the base of the brain that govern movement appear to be structurally compromised in people with autism. The lower the integrity of these nerves, the more severe a person’s autism symptoms.

June 2015

Leaky filter leads to motion perception problem in autism

by  /  30 June 2015

Children with autism detect certain kinds of motion better than their peers do, but don’t tune out distracting visuals.


Protein webs tangle up neurons in autism-linked disorder

by  /  26 June 2015

Star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes weave a web of proteins that derails brain development in the autism-like Costello syndrome. The findings add to mounting evidence that brain cells other than neurons contribute to autism.

May 2015

Power of girls to thwart autism shows up in sibling study

by  /  28 May 2015

Children whose older sisters are on the spectrum are at higher risk for autism than are those with affected older brothers, a new study suggests. Younger brothers of children with autism are at greater risk than younger sisters.


Facebook, brain games may reveal DNA deletion’s effects

by  /  4 May 2015

Researchers are using social media and an online ‘brain-training’ program to study people with rare chromosomal abnormalities linked to autism.

April 2015

Monkey mother’s immune response changes her infant’s brain

by  /  27 April 2015

Monkeys whose mothers are infected with a mock virus while pregnant show abnormal branching of certain brain cells. The findings may help explain why infection during a woman’s pregnancy ups the risk of autism in her children.


Corpus callosum ages abnormally in autism

by  /  10 April 2015

The thick bundle of nerve fibers that links the left and right hemispheres of the brain develops differently in children with autism, a nine-year study has found.