Spotted A roundup of autism papers and media mentions you may have missed.
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Spotted around the web: Week of 1 October 2018

by  /  5 October 2018

October 1st

Research roundup

  • Eliminating dopamine receptors affects social behavior in adolescent rats in a sex-specific way. Nature Communications
  • Oxytocin signaling is similar and different in humans and mice in a number of ways. Peptides
  • Silver foxes can be domesticated in only a few generations through pathways that govern social behavior, including serotonin pathways. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Shared genetic and environmental influences underlie the overlap between autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • A gene variant associated with inherited dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is also linked to schizophrenia and autism. Neurology
  • Varying brain structure patterns in boys and men on the spectrum can be used to classify autism into three subtypes. Human Brain Mapping
  • To quote a tweet from one of this study’s investigators: “This one is for the eye-tracking/measurement nerds out there.” Scientific Reports
  • Some children’s autism features emerge later in childhood, suggesting a need for screening beyond the toddler years. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Self-reports of executive function difficulties better predict disability among people on the spectrum than do objective measures of performance. Translational Psychiatry
  • Diagnoses for conditions that tend to co-occur with autism are on the increase, especially for developmental conditions such as language and motor disorders. Research in Developmental Disabilities
  • Walking independently elicit social communication skills in infants with increased autism odds. Infancy

Science and society

  • No, you’re not making it up: Boring speakers do talk longer than interesting ones. Nature
  • This tracker reveals which researchers are — and are not — sharing their clinical trial findings. FDAAA Trials Tracker
  • Women in academic seminars ask fewer questions than men do. PLOS One
  • Publication bias arises when researchers shelve negative results and emphasize only positive findings. The New York Times
  • Bias of a different sort is evident in awarding Nobel prizes in science, as seen in this graphic showing sex distribution over the years. Nature
  • Here are some notes for researchers about how to talk with the news media — and why they should do it. Nature
  • A Brexit threat looms: drug shortages. BMJ
  • Another Brexit threat: A boom in scientific research, fed by international collaboration, may go bust. The Guardian
  • The Iranian Autism Association says that autistic girls in Iran still have no schools to attend, despite a promise that one would open this year. National Council of Resistance of Iran’s Women’s Committee
  • Access to healthcare in China often means traveling to Beijing and lining up before dawn outside the hospital. The New York Times
  • Claims that genetic testing can predict the effectiveness of psychiatric medications lack an evidence base, some clinicians say. STAT
  • Sexuality education is as important for children on the spectrum as it is for everyone else, but it should be targeted to their needs and ways of learning. Star2

Autism and the arts

  • Activist Alice Wong explains why Hollywood movies can be an “ableist dumpster fire” because of the way films often depict people with disabilities. HuffPost
  • “Neurotribes” author Steve Silberman calls “The Eagle Tree,” Ned Hayes’ book featuring an autistic teenage protagonist, a “gorgeous novel.” Twitter
  • Sharing examples from the book “Randomistas,” — a chronicle of randomized trials —could make you a “terror on the cocktail party circuit” one reviewer predicts. Undark


Funding news

  • The National Science Foundation’s new rule limiting researchers to being a primary investigator on only one proposal a year has not been well received. Science
  • Hsiao-Tuan Chao, a pediatric neurologist who focuses on Rett syndrome, is one of 11 researchers in the United States to receive the National Institutes of Health (NIH) $1.25 million ‘High-Risk, High-Reward’ grant. Baylor College of Medicine
  • The NIH also awarded its $5.6 million Director’s Pioneer Award to University of Virginia neuroscientist Jonathan Kipnis, who studies how the brain and immune system interact. University of Virginia
  • Early-career researchers aren’t left out of the NIH mix, and neuroscience is a common focus among recipients of the agency’s New Innovator Award. National Institutes of Health

Job moves

  • Jeffery Drazen, longtime editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, is retiring. STAT
  • Neuroscientist Kevin Pelphrey has ended his term as director of the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute at George Washington University and begun a new post as professor of neurology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

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