Spectrum: Autism Research News
Spotlight on mouse models of autism
Why studying autism in mice may be doomed to fail
After more than a decade of effort, scientists are questioning whether mouse models of autism can ever capture the social deficits seen in people with the condition.
Why we need a mouse version of a diagnostic test for autism
Researchers have developed behavioral measures that can accurately diagnose autism in people; these lessons can and should be applied to mice.
How variability among mouse strains can aid autism research
Researchers can convert the distinct genetic backgrounds of lab mice from a problem to an advantage, exploiting the differences to advance our understanding of autism.
Statistical errors may taint as many as half of mouse studies
Neuroscientists are sounding the alarm about ‘pseudoreplication,’ a widespread practice that studs the literature with false results.
What to watch for when analyzing mouse behavior
Many tests for unusual behavior in mice are prone to operator error. Here’s how to avoid common traps.
‘Outmoded’ mouse models of autism may still yield new advances
Many researchers question the value of three early mouse models of autism, but the models have their staunch supporters.
‘Syntax’ of mouse behavior may speak volumes about autism
An algorithm that decodes and quantifies mouse body language could reveal the brain circuits underlying certain autism features.
How to improve mouse models’ usefulness for understanding autism
Integrating human-specific genetic elements into mice may provide a permissive, ‘humanized’ environment for studying autism.
‘Outdated’ mouse model exposes key disruptions in autism brain
A mouse model based on exposure to an epilepsy drug offers a useful window into the brain circuits altered in autism.
‘Retired’ mice find new life as top models for autism
As the list of autism candidate genes grows, some mouse models of the genes turn up in long-forgotten studies.
Inside Scoop From the Autism Anchors: The role of mouse models in autism
Our autism anchors, Raphael Bernier and James Mancini, explain how mouse models can help scientists understand the causes of autism and evaluate potential treatments for the condition.
Spectrum Stories: Talking about autism mouse models
Scientists discuss the problems with using mice to study autism, and explain how the field might move forward.