Spotted A roundup of autism papers and media mentions you may have missed.
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Spotted around the web: Week of 4 March 2019

by ,  /  8 March 2019

March 4th

Research roundup

  • A study in tropical singing mice reveals brain pathways involved in the rapid back-and-forth of verbal communication. Science
  • Researchers document the relationship between parental age and several neurodevelopmental conditions, including autism. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Most clinical trials of autism interventions conducted from 2013 to 2017 focused on autistic individuals under the age of 18. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • The cerebellum is one of the brain regions that control how an individual’s gaze mimics her partner’s in a social interaction. eNeuro
  • The expansion of the human brain — and cognitive abilities such as receptive language — has been largely controlled by genetics throughout evolution. Journal of Neuroscience
  • The Autism Spectrum Quotient may not be a reliable tool for comparing groups, such as people with and without autism, men and women, or young and old participants. Autism
  • At the top 50 institutions funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, first-time female principal investigators receive significantly smaller grants than their male counterparts. JAMA

Science and society

  • Do YouTube videos of babies with purported signs of autism educate or misinform? Medium
  • Writer Emily Willingham explores the complex web of genetic and environmental factors that are linked to autism. Knowable Magazine
  • Following pushback from the autism community, the United Kingdom’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency decided it won’t ask individuals to disclose their diagnosis unless it affects their driving. The Guardian
  • Scott Gottlieb resigned after two years as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Washington Post
  • Anti-vaccine activists have been verbally attacking members of the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices at the committee’s meetings to vote on which vaccines Americans should receive. Science
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging executives at Google, Facebook and Pinterest to help fight misinformation about vaccines. American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Speech-recognition software may help doctors automatically load details from client visits into their records. STAT
  • The physical challenges that can accompany autism are often overlooked. Salon
  • A U.S. judge found that a unit of the health insurance company UnitedHealth Group has discriminated against people with mental health and substance misuse conditions. The New York Times
  • The lack of diversity in genetic studies means that results often have little utility for people of non-European descent. STAT
  • Tracking changes in life expectancy can help researchers and policymakers come up with new ways to improve sanitation, vaccination programs and mental-health support for people in various nations. BBC
  • Postdoctoral training does not provide researchers with the entrepreneurial skills most need for non-tenure-track jobs. Nature

Autism and the arts

  • The play “Dancing Lessons,” now showing at the Sunshine Brooks Theater in San Diego, California, is about an injured dancer’s budding relationship with a young man on the spectrum. San Diego Union-Tribune
  • The Unrestricted Interest program helps autistic individuals channel their passions into creative writing, building their communication skills. Unrestricted Interest