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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: Gut microbes, clinical genetics, brain organoid ethics

by  /  19 November 2021

November 15th

Research roundup

  • An analysis of the proteins in autistic children’s stool revealed altered levels of specific gut microbes and enzymes that metabolize carbohydrates. Journal of Proteomics
  • Two commercially available wireless heart-rate trackers are comfortable and reliable for use with autistic children. Autism Research
  • Feeding problems in children, especially those that persist into the third year of life, appear to correlate with developmental delay. The Journal of Pediatrics
  • Autistic people interact with the justice system as victims, witnesses and suspects of crimes, according to a survey of nearly 4,000 people in Pennsylvania. Spectrum published a special report on these experiences a year ago. Crime & Delinquency
  • Clinical whole-exome sequencing may help resolve diagnostic uncertainties in people with rare diseases. Journal of Laboratory Medicine
  • Researchers are using optogenetics in mice to zero in on neuronal changes that underlie memory formation. STAT
  • Three out of four parents of autistic children say they think they should control access to their child’s genetic risk information. European Journal of Human Genetics
  • Autistic people’s eating patterns appear to influence the microbial populations in their guts. The Scientist
  • Training that involves singing and tapping target words on a screen appears to boost speech and language learning in autistic children who speak Mandarin, a tonal language. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Science and society

  • Stanford University psychiatrist Lawrence Fung — who has an autistic son — has launched an employment service that trains both autistic job-seekers and hiring managers. Stanford Medicine
  • A Connecticut-based YMCA has agreed to revise its childcare policies, under the supervision of the U.S. Justice Department, to improve access and accommodations for autistic children, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Westport News
  • Whole-genome sequencing in clinical settings, endorsed by the U.K. National Health Service, has helped diagnose disorders that exome sequencing failed to identify. STAT
  • Two bioethicists discuss whether brain organoids should be used in research if these cell cultures have the potential to support consciousness. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
  • President Joe Biden has chosen Robert Califf to lead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, pending Senate approval. STAT

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