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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Author

Laura Dattaro

Senior News Writer

Laura Dattaro is a senior reporter for Spectrum, where she covers genetics, mental health, public policy and other areas of autism research. She proposed and writes the Null and Noteworthy newsletter, a monthly recap of studies with null results and replications. She joined Spectrum in 2020. Dattaro has worked as a science journalist and editor for 10 years and has written for the Columbia Journalism ReviewPopular MechanicsSlate and The New York Times, among other publications. Before joining Spectrum, she also worked as associate producer for the World Science Festival. Dattaro has an M.A. in science and health journalism from Columbia University and a B.A. in English and music from the University of Delaware. You can find her on Twitter at @LauraLauraDat or reach out to her at [email protected].

Contact Info

[email protected]

June 2022

Unlocking the mitochondrial genome for autism research

by  /  1 June 2022

The DNA specific to mitochondria is difficult to access, but new methods place its secrets within reach.

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May 2022
people stand in as the base pairs in a DNA helix.

Spectrum 10K gets green light from ethics agency

by  /  27 May 2022

After a months-long review, the United Kingdom’s Health Research Authority upheld an earlier ethics approval for the embattled autism genetics study.

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Ultrasound in black and white shows a pattern.

Heart anomalies abound in mouse models of autism

by  /  23 May 2022

Of nine genetic models examined in a new study, all had some incidence of cardiac abnormalities. But the problems varied widely depending on the affected genes.

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Three views of zebrafish.

Novel gene linked to brain size in autistic people

by  /  16 May 2022

The gene, YTHDF2, may be one of several that contribute to an autism subtype marked by an unusually big brain.

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Information loss may weaken autism genetic scores

by  /  13 May 2022

Even the best data practices and technology drop key variants in attempts to predict autism likelihood.

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Neuron with dendrites, showing white on solid black.

DDX3X loss affects male, female mouse neurons differently

by  /  12 May 2022

The sex-specific effects may help elucidate why the small number of boys with DDX3X syndrome are born to unaffected mothers.

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Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results.

Null and Noteworthy: Sex bias and gender blend

by  /  9 May 2022

In this edition, a diagnostic measure shows no significant differences between sexes, and a survey confirms increased gender diversity among children with autism.

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April 2022
Illustration of colorful compass

Ethical gaps in autism genetics: A conversation with Holly Tabor

by  /  29 April 2022

Genetics research has largely failed to generate concrete benefits for autistic people, and its values and goals are due for reassessment, Tabor says.

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Mice missing key clock gene show autism-like traits

by  /  28 April 2022

A new study is the first to link social, repetitive and motor behaviors to mutations in BMAL1, which regulates the body’s circadian rhythms.

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Researchers, advocates rush to aid autistic Ukrainians

by  /  20 April 2022

Among the millions displaced by the war in Ukraine are children and adults with autism. Many autism professionals are doing what they can to help.

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