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Spectrum: Autism Research News


Emily Anthes

Contributing Writer, Spectrum

Emily Anthes is a freelance science journalist and author based in Brooklyn, New York. She writes news stories for Spectrum. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Wired, Nature and elsewhere. Her book, “Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts,” was published in March 2013. She has a master’s degree in science writing from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in the history of science and medicine from Yale.

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May 2020

Extra proteins alter microglia and behavior in mice

by  /  29 May 2020

The overproduction of proteins in brain cells called microglia causes social impairments, cognitive deficits and repetitive behavior in male mice, a new study has found.

April 2020

Popular autism screening tool is unreliable, study suggests

by  /  2 April 2020

A short, widely used screening survey for autism called the AQ-10 may not be reliable for measuring traits of the condition in the general population.

February 2020
Toddler is balancing with help from mom

Little-known gene tied to autism, developmental delay

by  /  28 February 2020

Rare mutations in a gene called BAZ2B are associated with various conditions of brain development, including autism.


Sponsors of clinical trials may report data late or never

by  /  10 February 2020

Many clinical trials, including those related to autism, do not report their results within a year of their completion.

November 2019
Strand of DNA with bases being deleted

Autism-linked gene variants increase odds of attention deficit

by  /  18 November 2019

A collection of rare genetic variants associated with autism and schizophrenia also seem to increase a person’s odds of having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

October 2019

Gene-edited marmosets may mimic Rett syndrome traits

by  /  23 October 2019

Researchers have used the gene-editing tool CRISPR to disable the MECP2 gene in marmoset embryos. The six such marmosets created seem to recapitulate aspects of Rett syndrome.

Neurons in a fish glow green.

Erasable sensor of brain activity could reveal roots of social behavior

by  /  23 October 2019

Researchers unveiled a reversible new technique for labeling active neurons in freely moving animals.

Monkey face with heatmap overlay

Monkey avatar may provide clues to face-processing problems in autism

by  /  22 October 2019

Researchers have created an animated monkey avatar that makes realistic facial expressions — and that may yield insight into how autistic people interpret facial expressions.


Cesarean sections may leave young brains vulnerable to injury

by  /  22 October 2019

Delivery by cesarean section leads to subtle brain and behavioral alterations in mice, particularly those delivered prematurely.

Rodent drinks water in machine-learning experiment

Algorithms may predict mouse behavior from brain activity

by  /  21 October 2019

Researchers have created a suite of digital tools that break complex mouse behaviors into discrete parts and link them to the animals’ brain activity.