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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Emerging tools and techniques that may advance autism research.

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March 2019

New maps plot hot spots of diversity across human genome

by  /  29 March 2019

A pair of maps that depict variation in the human genome may help reveal the genetic roots of autism.

Microscope image of microbes.

Genome catalog bolsters global microbiome research

by  /  22 March 2019

The largest-yet attempt to characterize the global diversity of the human microbiome — the population of microbes that live in our bodies — has found 4,930 species, 77 percent of which were previously unknown.

Human brain tissue

Autism brain bank doubles amount of available tissue

by  /  15 March 2019

Autism BrainNet, a repository of postmortem brains, has new tissue from more than 150 brains, including 59 from people with confirmed or possible autism.

Three views of a lab monkey

Mutant monkey clones could aid study of autism

by  /  8 March 2019

Scientists have created five monkey clones, all carrying an edit to a specific gene.


Sophisticated software makes sense of rodent squeaks

by  /  1 March 2019

New artificial-intelligence software detects and analyzes the ultrasonic squeaks and cries that constitute inaudible rodent language.

February 2019
Rat brain shows implant outline.

New electrode array records brain activity in rats for months

by  /  22 February 2019

A flexible electrode array can record the firing of hundreds of rat neurons for months on end.

head mold shown in two pieces

Stabilizing head mold leads to sharper brain images

by  /  15 February 2019

A customizable Styrofoam mold minimizes head movements during brain scans, enabling researchers to produce clearer images.

Child walking with sensors on in motion capture test.

Walking in virtual environment may reveal unique autism gait

by  /  8 February 2019

A two-belt treadmill attached to a specialized display suggests that people with autism have a distinct walking style.


Lab-grown placentas, cell atlas may aid study of early pregnancy

by  /  1 February 2019

A cell atlas and a cell-culture method promise to advance scientists’ understanding of the placenta and its effects on a fetus.

January 2019
a series of brain images

New brain maps hint at cerebellum’s role in cognition, language

by  /  25 January 2019

A new analysis of brain scans highlights variations in the cerebellum, a brain area implicated in autism.


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