Spotted A roundup of autism papers and media mentions you may have missed.
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Spotted around the web: Week of 24 September 2018

by  /  28 September 2018

September 24th

Research roundup

  • Helminth worm eggs were the intervention in this trial involving 10 adults with autism. The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry
  • A nerve pathway that links vision and gut response also plays a role in the brain’s reward system. Cell
  • ASDTests — a proposed app to screen toddlers, children, adolescents and adults for autism — supports 11 languages and could be a “vital tool” for collecting study data. Health Informatics Journal
  • The brief 10-item AQ-10 scale is adequate for measuring autistic traits in adults, although some of the items are not as useful as others. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • An autism-related gene is key to regulating protein trafficking associated with neuronal communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Based on data from more than 4 million siblings, genetics and environment contribute in strikingly different proportions to eight brain-related conditions, including autism. Psychological Medicine
  • Participant opportunity: For a university study in Ireland, people with synesthesia can offer feedback about their experiences via an online survey. Twitter
  • South Koreans view autism as arising from biological or dietary causes but see attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as having an environmental or social basis. Psychiatry Research
  • Among autistic adults in Taiwan, as with autistic adults elsewhere, sensory avoidance is associated with increased loneliness and anxiety. Occupational Therapy International
  • A school-based smart glasses intervention helps children with autism experience less irritability and social withdrawal. Behavioral Sciences
  • Researchers review the limited literature on drivers with autism and call for specific, effective training programs for people on the spectrum. Behavioural Neurology

Science and society

  • The Trump administration’s plan to consider welfare services use when making green card application decisions could “threaten the health and well-being of millions of children,” says the American Academy of Pediatrics. American Academy of Pediatrics
  • The mother of a U.S.-born child with autism presented for a routine check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in July and was ordered to return to El Salvador by the end of September — an increasingly common scenario since February 2017. The Guardian
  • The National Institutes of Health is getting on board with several other U.S. research funding agencies with its plans to beef up its harassment reporting and prevention systems. The Scientist
  • The strict rules that govern research laboratories present an obstacle to researchers who need their service dogs with them during their workday. The Scientist
  • A major newspaper featured an opinion column bylined by an autistic man who communicates using the controversial Rapid Prompting Method. The Wall Street Journal
  • Could virtual-reality-based therapy for movement and other disorders be better than conventional physical therapy? STAT
  • The Trump administration has canceled a contract related to human fetal tissue samples and called for a review of “all research” that involves human fetal tissue. Nature
  • A proposed California bill to prevent consumers from accessing their clinical trial data and learning, for example, whether they’re in the placebo group, has the backing of drug companies. STAT
  • Across the pond, researchers are prepping for the impending Brexit. Nature
  • Here are some autism-specific techniques that rescuers use when a child on the spectrum goes missing. CNN
  • If you study human genes, you’re probably playing favorites with the ones you target. Here’s why. The Scientist

Autism and the arts

  • The anonymous participants in this interview talk about why theater artists on the autism spectrum are a benefit on or off Broadway. Playbill
  • A new book claiming genetic determinism as the main explanation for human behavior draws a scathing review, with one positive note about neurodiversity. Nature 


  • The Cochrane Collaboration board is in disarray after one board member was expelled and several more quit in protest. STAT

Job moves

  • Jessica Bradshaw is joining the University of South Carolina faculty and will focus on early identification and intervention for autism. University of South Carolina
  • New Jersey has established a new state autism center at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, to be headed up by Elizabeth Torres of Rutgers-New Brunswick, James Millonig of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Jill Harris of Children’s Specialized Hospital. Rutgers Today

Funding news

  • A company that develops diagnostic assays has received a $2 million grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop an autism-related test based on epigenetic markers. Compelo
  • Compared with their unfunded peers, early-career researchers who receive NIH funding tend to submit more grant applications and target more funding agencies. PLOS One

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