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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Author

Nicholette Zeliadt

Managing Editor

Nicholette Zeliadt manages Spectrum’s staff writers and interns, and she commissions and edits news and opinion articles. She joined Spectrum as news writer in 2014. Before that, she was a freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in The New York TimesScientific AmericanNature MedicineScience and The Scientist.Nicholette has a Ph.D. in environmental health from the University of Minnesota
and a B.A. in biochemistry from the University of Iowa.

Contact Info

[email protected]

November 2022
Week of OctoberOct
31st
2022

Spotted around the web: Mapping histones; COVID-19 births; acetaminophen lawsuits

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 31 October.

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October 2022
A woman in a lab coat types at a computer.

New diagnostic code for PTEN syndrome may spur research

by  /  3 October 2022

The code may help scientists identify people with the autism-linked condition and recruit them into clinical trials.

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May 2021
DNA helix inside the human body

Autism genetics, explained

by  /  28 May 2021

The more scientists dig into DNA, the more intricate its contribution to autism seems to be. Here, we unravel the complex genetics of autism.

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August 2020
RNA, transcription

Antidote to ‘poison’ DNA may treat lethal form of epilepsy

by  /  26 August 2020

An experimental drug silences a DNA segment and seems to prevent seizures and death in a condition related to autism.

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March 2020
Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) showing several unmyelinated (green) and myelinated (green with blue border) axons. Schwann cell cytoplasm is red and a nucleus (bottom left) is yellow. The pink lines are the basement membranes.

Loss of insulation on neurons may contribute to autism

by  /  6 March 2020

Genes involved in the formation of myelin, a fatty substance that sheathes neurons, are altered in autistic people and in several mouse models.

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February 2020
brain form in the shape of white flowers on black background with the striatum in red

Striatum, the brain’s reward hub, may drive core autism traits

by  /  17 February 2020

Associated primarily with its role in movement, the striatum may also influence the social difficulties of autistic people.

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January 2020
3D image of a child's face with coordinates to measure distances between features.

Siblings of autistic children may have distinct facial features

by  /  27 January 2020

Siblings of autistic children, like those with the condition, tend to have faces that are more masculine than average.

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Image of many sperm in a mosaic-like pattern

Genetic tests of sperm may forecast odds of autism in children

by  /  16 January 2020

Some men who have an autistic child carry mutations linked to the condition only in their sperm.

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Variants linked to multiple conditions, including autism, tend to appear in genes that influence brain development, as shown in this chart in blue and grey.

Autism may share inherited variants with other psychiatric conditions

by  /  13 January 2020

Some of the inherited variants implicated in autism also increase the odds of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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Small child with fever has his temperature checked

Fever’s immune effect on brain may ease autism traits

by  /  8 January 2020

An immune molecule produced during a fever improves sociability in three mouse models of autism.

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