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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Author

Peter Hess

News Writer

Peter Hess is a reporter for Spectrum, where he covers cannabinoids, autism prevalence, social hormones and other topics. Before joining Spectrum in 2019, he was associate science editor at Inverse, where he wrote and edited stories for a broad audience on a wide range of scientific topics, including drugs, evolution and environmental science. His work has also appeared in The Washington PostNew ScientistPopular Science and Motherboard. Peter has an M.A. in science journalism from New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. Get in touch with him at [email protected] and find him on Twitter at @PeterNHess.

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October 2022
A transplanted human organoid labeled with a fluorescent protein in a section of the rat brain.

Human cortical organoids forge functional circuits in rat brains

by  /  12 October 2022

The transplanted cells integrate into living animals’ neural circuitry and influence behavior.

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Week of OctoberOct
3rd
2022

Spotted around the web: Blunted microglia, CHD8 roles, Nobel Prize

by ,  /  7 October 2022

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 3 October.

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September 2022
Set of 6 scans shows mice recovering MECP2 protein in their brainstem after being treated with RNA-editing viruses.

RNA rewrite improves breathing, survival in Rett mice

by  /  22 September 2022

The technique involves editing the cellular instructions to make MECP2 protein and partially restores its levels in the brainstem.

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A brown lab mouse perches on a researcher's hand.

Largest-yet fragile X mutation in mice confirms model’s shortcomings

by  /  14 September 2022

A 341-repeat mutation from a person with fragile X does not lead to the syndrome’s traits or function the same way in mice, highlighting a need for different animal models.

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Lost sleep sparks lasting social problems in SHANK3 mice

by  /  12 September 2022

Sleep disruption early in life has long-lasting consequences for mice missing a copy of the autism-linked gene SHANK3.

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Lab mice (Mus musculus), tribe Balbc, three 13 day old babies with eyes still closed, laying side by side

Sleepy mice with autism-linked mutation struggle to fall asleep

by  /  12 September 2022

Mice with a mutated copy of SHANK3 fail to establish normal sleep patterns during development.

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Oxytocin lessons from autism-linked syndromes: A chat with Christian Schaaf and Ferdinand Althammer

by  /  7 September 2022

Oxytocin therapies have failed to consistently benefit autistic people, but their effects in people with two autism-linked conditions may yield new insights, experts argue.

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August 2022
Illustration of two chromosomes with copy number variants.

‘Dosage sensitivity map’ predicts active ingredients in copy number variants

by  /  31 August 2022

The catalog of rare copy number variants tied to autism and other conditions could help researchers identify which genes account for the mutations’ effects.

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A pregnant woman and a doctor, both masked, have a conversation in an examination room.

U.K. health authority investigates epilepsy drug’s link to autism

by  /  30 August 2022

Prenatal exposure to topiramate increases a child’s autism odds, according to the study that prompted the inquiry, but experts caution that pregnant people with epilepsy have few other options for controlling seizures.

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Conceptual illustration of chromosomal abnormalities

Lumping versus splitting with autism-linked variants: A conversation with Vanessa Vogel-Farley and Yssa DeWoody

by  /  22 August 2022

Researchers have long studied subgroups of people who share genetic variants, but the newly formed ‘CNV Commission’ is also looking at people with shared traits across different neurodevelopmental conditions.

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