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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

February 2023
Research image showing the presence of several proteins in neurons.

Protein networks identified in autism-linked genetic deletion

by  /  28 February 2023

The OTUD7A gene, which may account for some traits in people missing a segment of chromosome 15, appears to interact with several known autism-linked genes.

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

Community Newsletter: Faulty enrichment analyses; wearable tool; peer-review backlog

by  /  26 February 2023

This week, researchers on Twitter discussed false results in gene expression studies, a wearable neuron-recording device, and paper-publishing requirements.

A crowded street in Edinburgh

Neurodiversity conference aims to link research, lived experience

by  /  24 February 2023

The “It Takes All Kinds of Minds” conference draws neurodiversity researchers, clinicians and community members to Scotland, where they plan to discuss interdisciplinary, transdiagnostic work.

Illustration of a series of pills in petri dishes laid out to look like a descending line graph.

Biotech downturn hurts companies targeting autism-linked conditions

by  /  23 February 2023

After a year of intense growth, funding for biotech is in decline. The result is layoffs and program cuts — and maybe some innovation.

A photograph of an infant's foot.

Dietary changes ease traits in rare autism-linked condition

by  /  21 February 2023

Early treatment with nutritional supplements and a high-protein diet forestalls some neurodevelopmental problems for children with BCKDK deficiency.

Speech bubble formed by a network of communication

Community Newsletter: Rare genetic variants; shape-shifting microglia; telehealth diagnoses

by  /  19 February 2023

Tweets this week consider new research on how rare gene variants contribute to complex traits and microglia change their shape, plus views on diagnosing autism virtually.

an image of a neuron

Neurons struggle to spike without fragile X gene

by  /  17 February 2023

FMR1 loss impairs sodium channels, hindering mouse neurons from generating the electrical signals needed to transmit information.

Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results.

Null and Noteworthy: Busting biomarkers; going after GABA; reproducibility illusion

by  /  16 February 2023

In this edition of Null and Noteworthy, scientists find little to be excited about in research on biomarkers for neurodevelopmental conditions.

Research image of cell bodies of rett-like neurons, some of which were treated with epigenome editors.

Epigenome edits unmute MECP2 in Rett-like neurons

by  /  16 February 2023

The approach removes methyl tags from the gene and shields it from other silencing factors without changing the gene itself, raising hopes for a new treatment.

Headshot of Wendy Chung.

Simons Foundation clinical research head Wendy Chung to lead Boston Children’s pediatrics department

by  /  14 February 2023

Chung, a clinical and molecular geneticist, plans to continue serving as principal investigator of two large research projects involving cohorts of people with autism and related neurodevelopmental conditions.