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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

May 2022
Illustration of a rat in profile with the middle section of its body replaced by a red outline containing small yellow polygons against a navy blue background

Six steps to using machine learning for animal behavior research

by  /  26 May 2022

Machine-learning tools are widely available and can help speed up studies in animal models of autism. Here’s how to get started with the ‘minimal viable product’ and a few pro tips.

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Ultrasound in black and white shows a pattern.

Heart anomalies abound in mouse models of autism

by  /  23 May 2022

Of nine genetic models examined in a new study, all had some incidence of cardiac abnormalities. But the problems varied widely depending on the affected genes.

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Many mouths making conversation, with speech bubbles in red and blue.

Community Newsletter: COVID-19 at INSAR, PTEN enhancer, baby sib findings

by  /  22 May 2022

This week’s newsletter looks at tweets about COVID-19 at last week’s INSAR meeting, an unusual enhancer regulating the autism-linked gene PTEN, and new findings from the Infant Brain Imaging Study.

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A playful chart is made from bars in lively patterns and red and blue.

By the Numbers: Suspensions, unemployment, health checks

by  /  20 May 2022

This edition plots school suspensions and the unemployment gap for autistic people, and charts outcomes for those who attend regular health checks.

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A woman in a white lab coat uses a micropipette

Modified CRISPR tool boosts UBE3A levels in mice

by  /  20 May 2022

A deactivated form of the gene editor restores UBE3A expression in mice and human neurons without cutting the genome. It may hold promise for future Angelman gene therapies.

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Structural brain changes foretell language skills in autistic infants

by ,  /  19 May 2022

Increased white-matter maturation tracks with stronger language abilities later in childhood, but the relationship with cortical thickness is less clear.

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Researchers publish new dataset on minimally verbal autistic people

by  /  18 May 2022

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published the first repository of vocalizations from minimally verbal autistic people. Those with few or no spoken words still produce a range of phonemes, or units of sound, that may serve as developmental markers or intervention targets.

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Child in dark room with thermometer showing 100.8.

Fever doesn’t ease challenging traits in most autistic children

by  /  17 May 2022

The findings contradict a previous study, whose design may have been biased to find an effect.

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Three views of zebrafish.

Novel gene linked to brain size in autistic people

by  /  16 May 2022

The gene, YTHDF2, may be one of several that contribute to an autism subtype marked by an unusually big brain.

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Young woman sitting alone at window in the shadows.

Autistic LGBTQ+ people report frequent mental health problems

by  /  16 May 2022

The co-occurring conditions may stem from the heightened stress people in minority communities experience.

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