Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

Spotted A roundup of autism papers and media mentions you may have missed.

Spotted around the web: Neuroscience tools, cerebellar enhancers, private equity

by , ,  /  12 August 2022

August 8th

Research roundup  

  • Children born before 24 weeks’ gestation who have visual impairment appear to be more likely to have autism than those without visual impairment. BMJ Open 
  • Women who take prenatal vitamins early in pregnancy have lower DNA methylation levels in cord blood and placental tissue at delivery. Spectrum has reported on the links between DNA methylation and autism. Epigenetics & Chromatin 
  • The Neuropixels probe can record from dozens of individual neurons in people, allowing population-level analysis of neuronal activity. Spectrum covered a smaller study on the use of the probe in people earlier this year. Neuron 
  • People with disabilities are most likely to have had COVID-19 if they are low income or have severe — or multiple — disabilities, according to an analysis in South Korea. International Journal of Health Policy and Management 
  • A new resource catalogs the noncoding DNA sequences that control gene expression — called enhancers — that are active in the cerebellum at key moments during embryonic and postnatal brain development in mice. eLife 
  • Brain-imaging studies need to incorporate data across different neurodevelopmental conditions to shed light on how copy number variants converge on clinical outcomes, argues a multidisciplinary team of researchers. Biological Psychiatry 
  • Clinical trials of transcranial direct current stimulation for autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia tend to have low-quality evidence, according to a systematic review. Brain and Behavior 
  • Researchers have developed a new generation of miniscopes — devices that enable scientists to peek at neuronal activity in behaving animals — that produce images at a higher resolution than previous versions. Interesting Engineering 
  • Female mice have a less variable body temperature and more consistent activity levels than male mice, upending old biases against the use of female animals in experiments. Biology of Sex Differences 
  • Autistic self-advocates say they need tech solutions for emotional regulation, such as wearable devices, to help them be more independent, not to help them mask traits, according to a survey. The Conversation 

Science and society 

  • A literature review highlights factors that may interfere with the replicability of research results, especially in basic neuroscience studies. eNeuro 
  • According to an investigation,, a U.S.-based registry, is rife with reporting errors, undermining the goals of transparency and accountability. The Scientist 
  • A suite of Australian businesses and programs, such as the I CAN Network, are working to promote the strengths of autistic people in the workplace. The Sydney Morning Herald 
  • A new Massachusetts law requires the state’s public colleges and universities to open their classes, with accommodations, to students with autism or other disabilities who do not have a high school diploma. The Boston Globe 
  • Private equity firms are investing in autism care centers, which puts quality of care at risk, some therapists say. Fortune 
  • New York legislator Yuh-Line Niou is in a tight race for a House of Representatives seat, which would make her the first openly autistic member of Congress. The 19th 

Cite this article:

TAGS:   autism