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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Audrey Brumback

by  /  3 November 2021

Audrey Brumback riffs about volunteering in Mexico, having a lab next door to her husband’s and why she sometimes cries at work.

Illustration of large globe shaped like a brain sitting in center of room and showing Latin America prominently.

Diversifying autism brain banks: Q&A with Verónica Martínez-Cerdeño

by  /  25 October 2021
The postmortem brain tissue available for autism research is overwhelmingly from people of Western European heritage. Verónica Martínez-Cerdeño and her colleagues are working to change that.
An illustration shows mother and child facing a grey monolithic shape that breaks apart to reveal a bright monitor that signifies remote assessments.

Rethinking autism assessments in the time of COVID-19: Q&A with Bishop, Zwaigenbaum

by  /  2 November 2021
Moving most clinical assessments online during the coronavirus pandemic has created a digital divide while closing some geographical ones, say Somer Bishop and Lonnie Zwaigenbaum.
Illustration of large microscope with spotlight on DNA strand representing focus on basic research leaving families in the twilight waiting room.

Autism research continues to stress basic science over improving interventions

by  /  14 September 2021
For 40 years, the preponderance of autism research has focused on understanding the causes and characteristics of the condition rather than testing assessments or interventions in community settings.

Latest Opinion

Professor Andrew Whitehouse surrounded by playful children in the busy clinic in Subiaco Western Australia.

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Andrew Whitehouse

by  /  24 November 2021

Andrew Whitehouse talks about his conservation efforts in the Australian Outback, what it’s like to be an identical twin and why he leaves work promptly at 5 p.m.

Mayada Elsabbagh portrait in her messy kitchen, drinking coffee.

Beyond the bench: A conversation with Mayada Elsabbagh

by  /  13 October 2021

Mayada Elsabbagh talks about her “neurotic scheduling” (and its limits), why she is not active on social media, and her lab’s cookie time.

Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus particle in pink and purple on deep blue background..

How to protect vulnerable autistic adults during the coronavirus pandemic

by  /  29 September 2021

Autistic adults are especially prone to contracting COVID-19 and to having complications from it. We need mitigation strategies and vaccination policies to better protect them.

Q&A with W. David Lohr: Antipsychotics, polypharmacy among autistic preschoolers

by  /  21 September 2021

Hundreds of preschool-aged children in Kentucky began taking antipsychotic medicines in 2012, according to an analysis of Medicaid records. Lohr discusses what it will it take to get them behavioral therapies instead.

Scientist Ethan Scott takes aim with a bow and arrow in his backyard.

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Ethan Scott

by  /  13 September 2021

Ethan Scott packs his lab with math, physics and computer science experts to decode sensory brain networks in zebrafish models of autism.

Steve Warren

Remembering Steve Warren (1953-2021): A giant in the field of genetics

Steve Warren co-discovered the genetic mechanism that underpins fragile X syndrome and was a generous, inspiring mentor to many.

Validating autism subtypes: A crucial but often overlooked step in research

by ,  /  31 August 2021

Studies of autism subtypes rarely validate their results, and this has led to a proliferation of autism subtypes of questionable utility. But reliable subtyping can help improve the prognosis for and care of autistic people.

Illustration shows a woman thinking as she is surrounded by signs with feelings on them and question marks.

Measuring alexithymia in autistic people

by ,  /  24 August 2021

Despite the growing interest in alexithymia in autism research, the tools commonly used to measure this trait may not work reliably in autistic populations. A new scoring method fills that gap.

Young patient speaking to counselor.

Q&A with Brenda Finucane: Building pipelines for genetic tests for autism

by  /  17 August 2021

Most autistic people do not receive the medically recommended genetic tests for autism. Brenda Finucane and her colleagues want to change that.

Holly Stessman standing in her garden looking up and holding her two chickens.

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Holly Stessman

by  /  13 August 2021

When Holly Stessman isn’t probing autism genes, she is tending to her flock of chickens or seeking out the next great sci-fi movie.

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