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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Opinion /

Q&A

Conversations with experts about noteworthy topics in autism.

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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October 2022

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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Constantina Theofanopoulou strikes a dancer's pose in her lab.

Beyond the bench: Learning new moves with dancer-scientist Constantina Theofanopoulou

by  /  13 September 2022

Theofanopoulou shares how flamenco stepped up the pace of her social-communication research, and what’s behind the ‘no fear’ ethos in her new lab.

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Oxytocin lessons from autism-linked syndromes: A chat with Christian Schaaf and Ferdinand Althammer

by  /  7 September 2022

Oxytocin therapies have failed to consistently benefit autistic people, but their effects in people with two autism-linked conditions may yield new insights, experts argue.

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August 2022
Researcher on path in space that leads to open, shared data network.

Open science in autism research: A chat with Amy Pearson and Daniel Poole

by  /  26 August 2022

The two psychologists share tips to help autism researchers adopt established methods and make their work more transparent and reproducible.

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Conceptual illustration of chromosomal abnormalities

Lumping versus splitting with autism-linked variants: A conversation with Vanessa Vogel-Farley and Yssa DeWoody

by  /  22 August 2022

Researchers have long studied subgroups of people who share genetic variants, but the newly formed ‘CNV Commission’ is also looking at people with shared traits across different neurodevelopmental conditions.

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Portrait of Judy Van De Water at her home in Fort Bragg, CA, with her paintings.

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Judy Van de Water

by  /  12 August 2022

When Van de Water isn’t busy mentoring “the next generation of scientists” in her lab, she finds time to paint, watch HGTV and hang out with her horse, Hank.

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  • Genes

    Genes

  • The Brain

    The Brain

  • Diagnosis

    Diagnosis

  • Signs and Symptoms

    Signs & Symptoms

  • Treatments

    Treatments

  • Environment

    Environment

  • Science and Society

    Science & Society