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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: Heart rate in autism, suicide screening, accelerating gene therapies

by ,  /  5 November 2021

November 1st

Research roundup

  • Among nurses in Ethiopia, those with higher levels of education or more experience with autistic people tend to be the most knowledgeable about autism. Spectrum has previously covered one autism researcher’s strategies for training heath workers in Ethiopia. SAGE Open Medicine
  • A genetic analysis of autistic people in Brazil highlights 14 genes with rare copy number variants, many of which play a role in cell adhesion. Clinical Genetics
  • The Thai Diagnostic Autism Scale appears to be reliable and suitable for evaluating Thai children up to age 4. Autism Research
  • Syndromes associated with autism and caused by single-gene mutations are prime candidates for gene therapy, through either transient or permanent alteration of genes. Genes
  • Mutations in the GABRB2 gene, which codes for a subunit of the GABA-A receptor, are associated with many neuropsychiatric conditions, including autism. Gene
  • Screening children with neurodevelopmental conditions for suicide risk during specialty healthcare visits appears to be feasible, although parents often decline the screening. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
  • Children with autism experience higher heart rates during laboratory experiments than do those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Spectrum took a close look at autonomic function in autism in 2019. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Autistic youth tend to write more slowly and illegibly than their non-autistic peers, and often produce poorer written content, as assessed by the Six Trait Writing Model. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Some caregivers of children with special healthcare needs quit working or reduce their work hours; from 2016 to 2017, this occurred in 41 percent of families with children with intellectual disability. Pediatrics

Science and society

  • A U.S.-based coalition of pharmaceutical companies and nonprofit organizations has formed to speed up research and development of gene therapies. STAT
  • Autistic people may get so used to camouflaging to accommodate non-autistic people that they lose sight of who they really are, an autistic writer says. The Swaddle
  • Tom Oliver, a law student on the spectrum, argues in a TEDx talk that a misunderstanding of autism leads to unfair arrests and prosecutions of autistic people. Read more about interactions between autistic people and law enforcement in Spectrum’s 2020 special report. YouTube
  • Cryo-electron tomography has prompted new insights into how intracellular structures interact with other cell components. Nature

    Colorized high-resolution image of the inside of a cell.

    Up close: Cryo-electron tomography offers a peek inside cells with outstanding detail.

    S. Albert et al./PNAS

  • Four early-career researchers with disabilities describe the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that their mentors and institutions make their work more difficult. Nature
  • Professional societies of women scientists have struggled with where to draw the gender line: Include transgender and nonbinary people in their membership or not? Undark
  • The American Psychological Association has issued an apology for engaging in racism and racial discrimination, emphasizing that the apology was overdue. NPR

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TAGS:   autism