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Conversations on the science of autism research.

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Researcher stands in spotlight that is the shape of a monkey's head.

Why monkey researchers are seeking the spotlight: Q&A with Cory Miller

by  /  25 May 2022

For decades, many researchers who study nonhuman primates kept quiet about their work, concerned about the extreme actions taken by some animal welfare activists. But a growing number are speaking more openly about the importance of their work in an attempt to take back the narrative.

Autism and the complete human genome: Q&A with Evan Eichler

by  /  10 May 2022
Scientists have at last filled in the missing gaps — an advance likely to inform every aspect of autism genetics research, Eichler says.
Lindsay Shea standing in front of a white board.

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Lindsay Shea

by  /  11 March 2022
Lindsay Shea talks about her work, her “dirt kitchen,” fried sticky buns and why her lab doesn’t have a mascot.
Illustration of colorful compass

Ethical gaps in autism genetics: A conversation with Holly Tabor

by  /  29 April 2022
Genetics research has largely failed to generate concrete benefits for autistic people, and its values and goals are due for reassessment, Tabor says.

Latest Opinion

Book cover conceptual illustration of chromosome superimposed with genetic tree.

A whisper of autism: Fragile X carriers and the autism phenotype

by  /  21 April 2022

Among people who carry the fragile X premutation, about 14 percent of boys and 5 percent of girls meet the criteria for autism, but the ‘broad autism phenotype’ may be far more common.

The placenta and neurodevelopment: A conversation with Anna Penn

by  /  19 April 2022

The temporary organ may hold clues about the origins of autism and brain development, Anna Penn says — if only researchers would study it.

Autism and menopause: Q&A with Rachel Moseley and Julie Turner-Cobb

by  /  7 April 2022

Menopause poses significant challenges for autistic people, according to a small survey published in 2020 — the first to explore the transition among people with autism traits.

Ukrainian families seen waiting for a train to Poland. Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine, has now become a transit hub for women and children fleeing to Europe, while men return and travel to eastern Ukraine to defend the country.

My hope for Ukrainians with autism

by  /  15 March 2022

To think that what we are witnessing now in Ukraine is far removed from the world of autism would be a huge mistake.

Illustration of head in profile filled with swirls of color.

Clinicians must put more effort into autism-specific medical care

by  /  14 March 2022

Without it, autistic adults with high support needs like my son are missing out on treatments that could reduce their suffering and improve their quality of life.

Dr. Ben Rein seen through the circle of a ring light with a skull and brain model.

The autism researcher firing up TikTok: A Q&A with Ben Rein

by  /  8 March 2022

In the lab, neuroscientist Ben Rein studies mouse models of autism. But on TikTok, he’s fighting pseudoscience about his field, one video at a time.

Neurons lighting up yellow, green and red on blue.

Controlling neurons with ultrasound: Q&A with Sreekanth Chalasani

by  /  1 March 2022

The new method, called sonogenetics, noninvasively manipulates neural circuits in mice.

Flawed methods undermine study on undiagnosed autism and suicide

by  /  28 February 2022

The researchers attempted to retroactively identify signs of autism in people who died by suicide, but their analysis is not convincing.

A new hub for participatory research: Q&A with Zachary Williams

by  /  22 February 2022

Last month, the International Society for Autism Research launched the INSAR Community Collaborator Request (ICCR), an online forum to foster collaborations between autistic people and autism researchers. Its creator, Zachary Williams, explains how researchers can make the most of this new resource.

Your questions about the Lancet Commission and ‘profound autism,’ answered

by  /  15 February 2022

Tony Charman and Catherine Lord answer questions from Spectrum’s webinar on the Lancet Commission’s recommendations for autism research.

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