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Spectrum: Autism Research News


Niko McCarty

Former data reporter

Niko McCarty was Spectrum’s data reporter from 2021 to 2022. He has an M.A. from New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. He also has an M.Res. in systems and synthetic biology from Imperial College London, where he was a Fulbright Scholar, and an M.Sc. in bioengineering from the California Institute of Technology. His prior research focused on engineered microbial communities and building CRISPR-Cas technologies.

Contact Info

[email protected]

September 2021
Stack of journals.

Autism study earns ‘expression of concern’ over unavailable data

by  /  3 September 2021

An autism brain imaging study published seven years ago received an expression of concern last month after its authors failed to uphold a promise to make their raw data freely available.

August 2021
Week of AugustAug

Spotted around the web: Mislabeled ‘autism traits,’ cerebellum in autism, medicinal cannabis

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 23 August.

Markov cluster showing protein interactions in mice.

Protein atlas doubles number of known interactions in mice

by  /  26 August 2021

Thousands of protein-protein interactions mapped in mice reveal how these networks shift across seven kinds of tissue.

Colorful illustration in red and bright aqua blue, of a pizza / pie chart with researcher's hand taking a slice.

By the Numbers: Coronavirus infection odds, Medicaid waivers, correlating conditions

by  /  19 August 2021

In this edition of By the Numbers, we discuss the outsize burden of COVID-19 among some groups of autistic people, expansions in Medicaid waivers for autism and how an autistic person’s age at diagnosis may affect their risk for other conditions.

Week of AugustAug

Spotted around the web: Dopamine in autism, predictive skills, incidental genetic findings

by ,  /  13 August 2021

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 9 August.

Week of AugustAug

Spotted around the web: Roundworm connectome, NRXN1 rats, MRI headphones

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 2 August

July 2021
Week of JulyJul

Spotted around the web: Neuronal differentiation, vitamin D, Hollywood representation

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 26 July.


Sex, age of diagnosis correlate with autism comorbidities

by  /  30 July 2021

Girls are more likely to have various other conditions, such as anxiety or an eating disorder, if they are diagnosed with autism as a teenager, compared with girls diagnosed as children. The findings may suggest that clinicians miss diagnosing some autistic girls unless they also have co-occurring conditions.


Ultra-rare variants point to new autism candidate genes

by  /  26 July 2021

A large, whole-genome sequencing study of families yields insights into ultra-rare genetic variants that contribute to autism.

Ofer Yizhar in his lab, framed by rectangular window and a red background.

Beyond the bench: A conversation with Ofer Yizhar

by  /  26 July 2021

When Yizhar isn’t building new tools to study the neural circuits underlying autism and other complex conditions, you can find him playing the piano, shooting photographs or taking long runs in the desert.