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Spectrum: Autism Research News


Polina Porotskaya

Polina Porotskaya is a former intern at Spectrum and a graduate student in the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University. Polina writes about neuroscience, biology and medicine. She has a B.A. in neuroscience from Columbia University.

September 2020
young autistic girl in playroom with a tennis ball that matches her yellow dyed hair.

Inside a summer camp for autistic children in Russia

by  /  1 September 2020

Photographs show how a camp in St. Petersburg this summer helped children on the spectrum and their families find some fun during the pandemic.

February 2020
Brain organoid cells look different than those in embryonic brain tissue-grid of six images show growth of both types over time.

Cell stress may sap organoids’ usefulness in autism research

by  /  26 February 2020

Some cells in brain organoids — 3D clusters of cultured brain cells — fail to develop fully.

September 2019
Colorful figure with a circle shape (a pill) and an orange X in the background symbolizing Fragile X

Diabetes drug delivers multiple benefits for people with fragile X syndrome

by  /  17 September 2019

Researcher Randi Hagerman is a big proponent of metformin — a diabetes drug that she is testing in people with fragile X syndrome. In fact, Hagerman takes the drug herself as a preventive measure against cancer.

Older father carries son in reed baseball cap

Mutations in sperm may accrue too slowly to increase autism risk

by  /  5 September 2019

A new analysis challenges the idea that mutations in the sperm of older fathers lead to higher rates of autism among their children.

August 2019

New maps of neuronal connections reveal roundworms’ wiring

by  /  30 August 2019

Two new maps show the entire nervous system of the adult roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans.


Levels of brain chemicals may reflect severity of autism traits

by  /  19 August 2019

The levels of four chemicals in the brain may distinguish autism and vary with its severity, according to a new study.


What matters for protein linked to autism? Location, location, location

by  /  14 August 2019

One form of the protein implicated in Angelman syndrome and autism clusters in the nucleus, and it’s this form that may be critical to brain development.

July 2019
researchers gather around a preprint, sharing and networking

Preprint server aims to lead medical research into era of open science

by  /  31 July 2019

Envisioned as bioRxiv’s clinical cousin, the new preprint server medRxiv hosts unpublished manuscripts describing original medical research.

organoids in petri dishes

New recipe yields set of strikingly similar brain organoids

by  /  26 July 2019

A new method enables scientists to grow organoids that reliably reproduce the diversity of cells at the brain’s surface.


Interactive atlas reveals zebrafish brain circuits in 3D

by  /  12 July 2019

A new online tool maps the shape and location of neurons in the larval zebrafish brain.