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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: SHANK3 tug of war, motor issues, tenure threat

by ,  /  22 October 2021

October 18th

Research roundup

  • Having diabetes during pregnancy may up the chances of having a child with a developmental condition, intellectual disability or schizophrenia, according to a study of all live births in Denmark from 1978 to 2016. JAMA Network Open
  • Neuronal activity in the medial amygdala appears to drive mice to groom, and perhaps console, a distressed cagemate. Nature
  • Using two adapted assessment tools results in fewer false positives than either tool alone for diagnosing autism in deaf children. Journal of Clinical Medicine
  • Two intracellular proteins compete to bind with the SHANK3 protein, a dynamic that affects cell shape and function and may reveal how autism-linked SHANK3 gene variants alter neuronal connections. Current Biology

    Diagram showing how the SHANK3 protein binds to Rap1 or to actin.

    Two paths: Whether the SHANK3 protein binds with Rap1 or actin determines its biological action in neurons.

  • Atypical sensory responses in autism may fall into five categories, including one relating to taste and smell sensitivities and another involving under-responsiveness and sensation-seeking. Molecular Autism
  • Autistic people are three times as likely to self-harm as non-autistic people are, according to a meta-analysis of 31 studies. JAMA Network Open
  • A regular 2D video camera may work just as well as 3D technology to spot body movement differences between autistic and non-autistic children. Spectrum covered motor difficulties in autism last year. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Among people diagnosed with autism, having more first-degree relatives with a psychiatric condition is associated with having more severe traits. Autism Research

Science and society

  • A new policy in the U.S. state of Georgia permits public university administrators to remove tenured professors without faculty review, raising alarms about academic freedom. The New York Times
  • Going back to in-person school or daycare presents challenges for disabled children, who may struggle with masks and social distancing, even though many experienced a different set of difficulties during pandemic lockdowns. Kaiser Health News
  • The U.S.-based Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee is requesting public input to help identify gaps in research and services that federal programs might address. Disability Scoop
  • College classrooms can be more inclusive of autistic students by promoting acceptance and providing straightforward accommodations, argues an autistic college teacher. Inside Higher Ed
  • Many research institutions have extended deadlines for academic researchers during the coronavirus pandemic, although policies explicitly targeted to caregivers have been far less common, a group of Brazilian scientists writes. Nature Human Behavior

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TAGS:   autism