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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Opinion /

Q&A

Conversations with experts about noteworthy topics in autism.

An illustration of a questionnaire that is slightly visually distorted

Tempering tales of a new autism measure: A conversation with Thomas Frazier

by  /  20 January 2023

The questionnaire, designed to screen children for autism, isn’t ready for clinical use without further validation, contrary to what some overblown newspaper headlines reported.

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January 2023
Jill Silverman sits at her desk with her dog.

Beyond the bench: Finding solitude with Jill Silverman

by  /  17 January 2023

The people-focused researcher shares her secrets to carving out time for grant writing, creating work-life balance and letting go of unread emails.

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Image of neurons during a seizure.

Calming neurons to quell seizures: Q&A with Gabriele Lignani and Dimitri Kullmann

by  /  3 January 2023

A new gene therapy approach for epilepsy tamps down neural activity on demand.

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December 2022
Gavin Rumbaugh stands on a beach with his family: his wife, dog and child.

Beyond the bench: Finding balance with Gavin Rumbaugh

by  /  15 December 2022

Rumbaugh, who studies how the autism-linked gene SYNGAP1 shapes brain development, describes how he has embraced coastal living and which aspects of his career he wouldn’t do over.

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November 2022
A pattern in the style of genetic sequencing forms into the shape of the African continent.

Africa’s genomic role: Q&A with Conrad Iyegbe and Niran Okewole

by  /  28 November 2022

Psychiatric genomics promises to shed light on the genetic basis of autism, but it’s vital to include Africa in this research, Iyegbe and Okewole say.

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October 2022
Conceptual illustration of a group of brain scans.

Boosting brain power: A conversation with Damien Fair

by  /  25 October 2022

Collecting brain scans from thousands of people can be challenging in autism research; data-sharing and collaborative efforts can help drive results that stand up to statistical scrutiny.

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Beyond the bench: Mastering meaningful movement with Karen Chenausky

by  /  21 October 2022

The competitive rower-turned-researcher spoke to Spectrum about how trying out for the U.S. national rowing team and a subsequent coaching position shaped her study of speech development.

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Photograph of a mouse nesting in a pile of hay.

Scoring mouse behaviors: Q&A with Michael Sidorov

by  /  17 October 2022

A new analysis package enables researchers to distill multiple measures of Angelman syndrome mice into a single ‘severity score.’

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An illustration of a scientist sitting at a desk with abstract shapes representing ideas floating above her.

Designing autism-friendly trials: Q&A with Caroline Averius and Zachary Williams

by  /  7 October 2022

The pair’s new guidebook offers practical steps to make clinical trials easier and more meaningful for autistic participants.

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September 2022
six images of astrocytes

How star cells’ secretions may stunt neurons: Q&A with Nicola Allen

by  /  26 September 2022

Non-neuronal brain cells called astrocytes secrete proteins that seem to hamper the growth of neurons in people with autism-related syndromes. These proteins could be new drug targets, Allen says.

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A group of rectangles placed against a colorful background contains diverse colors and patterns.

Broadening the autism spectrum: Q&A with Oluwatobi Abubakare

by  /  20 September 2022

Too often, people outside the margins of what’s considered classic autism are left out of research agendas, Abubakare says.

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