Spotted A roundup of autism papers and media mentions you may have missed.
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Spotted around the web: Week of 8 October 2018

by  /  12 October 2018

October 8th

Research roundup

  • Having an ear infection or a filled antibiotic prescription before age 10 may be linked to autism risk. Autism Research
  • According to another study, however, infants who receive antibiotic treatment (or who are delivered by cesarean section) have no increase in autism risk. Epidemiology
  • Autistic girls’ social experiences are distinctly different from those of both autistic boys and typical girls. Autism
  • Children with and without autism are similarly able to understand how experience and self-direction are involved in moral decision-making. Autism Research
  • Terms such as ‘antipsychotic’ or ‘stimulant’ for pediatric medications mask the drugs’ effects in distinct conditions and can create a stigma about using them. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Children whose siblings have autism seem to follow one of three possible trajectories in early childhood development. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
  • Autistic children with older siblings have better social functioning than do those without siblings, and there is even a sibling dose-response effect. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
  • High levels of regional cerebrospinal fluid have been linked to autism in three cohorts. The Lancet Psychiatry
  • The prevalence of unrecognized autism in a group of children with epilepsy is 7.5 percent. Journal of Pediatric Neurosciences
  • Gene expression patterns uncover a previously hidden organization of the hippocampus. Nature Neuroscience

Science and society

  • Why did the bone transplant that cured one person’s leukemia also eliminate his schizophrenia-related delusions? The New York Times
  • Skepticism grows around a smartphone app that is supposed to predict mood based on how quickly a user types and scrolls. STAT
  • The MacArthur ‘genius’ grant winners have been announced (so you’d know by now if you were on this year’s list). NPR
  • Vittorio Gallo has received the Senator Jacob Javits Award in the Neurosciences. EurekAlert
  • Elena Hung is the keynote speaker and autistic writer David James Savarese an award recipient at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network’s annual gala scheduled for November. Autistic Self Advocacy Network
  • Among this year’s honorees at the New York Academy of Medicine is Wendy K. Chung, pediatrics professor at Columbia University and director of clinical research for the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (Spectrum’s parent organization). New York Academy of Medicine
  • Japan is drafting guidelines that allow gene editing of human embryos. Nature
  • The latest attempt to trick academic journals into publishing fake data has drawn some sharp criticism. Slate
  • If your students type their notes, have them consider using the font ‘Sans Forgetica,’ which its inventors claim is “scientifically designed” to help with information retention. RMIT University
  • A software tool allows users to connect signals picked up with electroencephalography to models of the neural circuits that generate these signals. Brown University
  • With the number of government-backed brain initiatives growing worldwide, some researchers are calling for attention to ethics. Neuron
  • The heads of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health have outlined changes in how their respective agencies will monitor human gene therapy. New England Journal of Medicine
  • For pregnant women, few medications are considered safe because they’ve never been tested in the population, and experts are calling for that to change. STAT

Autism and the arts

  • The new assistant to the first female ‘Doctor Who’ has dyspraxia, a developmental coordination disorder, making him relatable to viewers with the condition. BBC News
  • An autistic writer talks about the professional pitfalls that come with her condition, such as a dread of talking on the phone with editors. The Open Notebook


  • Don’t be the dreaded ‘Reviewer Number 3’: Learn how to write a good, thorough peer review. Nature
  • Researchers shouldn’t have to be “data vigilantes” who police one another’s work, at least not without explicit funding to do so. Nature

Funding news

  • Two investigators at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco are spearheading a study of the adverse effects of genome editing, funded with $3.6 million from the National Institutes of Health. Gladstone Institutes

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