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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Two researchers survey a landscape filled with autism research topics including neurons, DNA, drugs and animal models.
Ana Kova

Here at Spectrum, 2022 was a year of deepening engagement — with science, as we returned to in-person conferences and meetings; and with our sources, through increased reporting, regular surveys and social media. That immersion brought us closer to many autism researchers, a community we profiled in our annual book, which was published this week. It also brought us closer to the important conversations happening in the field.

We highlight some of those conversations and “hot topics” from the year in this special report. Other important discussions appear in our overview of the year’s “top tweets.” And our “top quotes” entry eavesdrops on the most interesting dialogues this year between autism researchers and our reporters.

Our rich engagement this past year also bore new fruit for our end-of-year report: A survey of our sources yielded our first-ever “40 under 40” list of rising stars studying autism around the world. And it inspired us to put together a short quiz and calendar of upcoming meetings in 2023. We hope to see you there!

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

Hot topics in autism research in 2022

by  /  22 December 2022

This year saw the debut of ever-more complex techniques to grow and analyze brain organoids and other 3D tissue cultures, among other advances.

Large graphic numerals 40 in black on white.

40 under 40

by  /  22 December 2022

In 2022, we asked our profile subjects and sources to flag rising stars in their labs or among their former students. The result is this list of 40 young researchers who are working on autism-related science across the globe.

Illustration of a brain with geometric figures inside of it.

Top conferences of 2023

by  /  22 December 2022

Track some of the major autism science meetings next year on our timeline, and tell us which ones you plan to attend.

Four pairs of figures reach toward each other with both arms, creating four closed ovals.

2022: The year in quotes

by  /  22 December 2022

In our favorite quotes from stories we published in 2022, researchers find salvation in octopuses, recall mouse bites, and challenge the autism field to do better.

Photo of a single astrocyte (cyan) from the adult mouse cortex captured on a microscope. Astrocyte surface rendering (light cyan) and filament tracing (magenta) generated with Imaris Software.

Test your knowledge of 2022’s autism research news

by  /  22 December 2022

Do you read Spectrum regularly? See how well you’ve followed our coverage by taking our end-of-year quiz.

Two globe and chat bubble hybrids overlap against a blue background.

Autism researchers’ top tweets in 2022

by  /  22 December 2022

Social media chatter this past year took up a mysterious gene region, the brain’s physical geometry and other topics related to the advancement of autism science.