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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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

Spotted around the web: Fuzzy diagnostic boundary, organoid oversight, women scientist setbacks

by  /  16 April 2021

April 12th

Research roundup

  • A calibrated version of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule has good test-retest reliability, which substantiates its use in assessing autism traits over time. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Training Black parents of autistic children to advocate for themselves in clinical settings may help reduce racial disparities in healthcare services. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health offers a holistic framework for viewing autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as forms of neurodiversity. BioEssays
  • Autistic preschoolers have increased sensitivity and faster electroencephalogram responses to touch than their non-autistic peers. Molecular Autism
  • ‘Live birth bias’ may have skewed results suggesting that maternal exposure to traffic pollution lowers the likelihood of autism. Environmental Health Perspectives
  • Assessing preschoolers for autism at two points during development shows that those near the diagnostic boundary can cross it, in either direction. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
  • Genes that are over- or under-expressed when the 16p11.2 chromosomal region is duplicated or deleted appear to shape neuronal growth in the human brain. Cerebral Cortex
  • Neuronal connections between the brain’s cortex and the subcortex differ between autistic and non-autistic people. Nature Communications

    Brain images show structural differences in brain regions which track with autism traits.

    Atypical connections: Structural differences in some brain regions (orange) track with core autism traits.

Science and society

  • Contrary to the claim made by the podcast host of a top journal — that there is no racism in medicine — biased letters and studies continue to appear in many scientific journals. STAT
  • Autistic people have been sharing their behaviors and experiences on TikTok during April — Autism Acceptance Month — revealing the condition’s individuality and diversity. VeryWell Health
  • Many women scientists — especially mothers and women of color, who faced barriers to advancement before the coronavirus pandemic — say their climb is even harder now. The New York Times
  • A group of disability studies scholars have protested an academic publisher’s re-use of their work, sometimes involving abridgment, without their permission. The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Current regulatory oversight is sufficient for research using brain organoids or relying on human cells grown in animals, according to a report by the U.S.-based National Academies. The Scientist


TAGS:   autism