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Science & Society

From funding decisions to scientific fraud, a wide range of societal factors shape autism research.

March 2009
News / Profiles

Raphael Bernier: Decoding the mysteries of the autistic brain

by  /  16 March 2009

In the spring of 2002, as a new graduate student at the University of Washington, Raphael Bernier was charged with introducing his advisor, Geraldine Dawson, before her lecture to a room of about 40 people from the psychology department. To Dawson’s astonishment, Bernier sang his introduction to the tune of On Top of Old Smokey. “[It was] a pretty gutsy thing for a first-year student to do,” Dawson says.

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November 2008
News

Reversing autism-related disorders

by  /  16 November 2008

Research on mouse models published in the past year is paving the way to reversing the symptoms of some autism-related disorders, National Institute Health directors told a packed room of 80 reporters at the morning at the Society for Neuroscience conference.

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News

Brain banks for autism

by  /  16 November 2008

Brain tissue from individuals with autism is rare, to say the least: of the 30,000 samples in the National Institutes of Healthʼs Brain and Tissue Bank for Developmental Disorders, for instance, only 30 are from individuals diagnosed with autism.

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News

Onward to the capital

by  /  14 November 2008

Even as I type this, thousands of neuroscientists are descending on Washington D.C. for an annual event that is almost beyond description. An estimated 36,000 people are expected to attend Neuroscience 2008, this yearʼs meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, hobnob, listen to lectures, present posters and down drinks at the many social events.

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May 2008
News / Profiles

Ami Klin & Warren Jones: Melding art and science for autism

by  /  6 May 2008

Sitting on a sofa in his office at the Yale Child Study Center, Ami Klin plays a movie clip on a tiny laptop. The clip stars a younger Klin, with larger glasses but the same easy smile, vying for the attention of a young girl with autism. His face inches from hers, he speaks in a warm, animated voice. But the girl never looks from the toy blocks in her hands. Suddenly, she spots an orange M&M in the far corner of the room and scoots after it.

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March 2008
News

Virtual peers teach real-life skills

by  /  4 March 2008

For children with autism who have trouble interacting with their peers, virtual characters may be a way to improve language skills ― and perhaps more.

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January 2008
Opinion / Reviews

Autism and the arts: “Lucy” captures disorder’s complexity

by  /  28 January 2008

Itʼs not often that movies, books and plays represent science accurately, or with a true and empathetic understanding of its complexity.

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December 2007
News

Interpreting gray matter studies not black and white

by  /  18 December 2007

Gray matter, that mysterious brain substance, is thought to control everything from motor function to mental acuity. In recent years several studies have suggested that an excess of gray matter during childhood is to blame for the symptoms of autism.

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News

‘Brainbow’ lights up nerve cell connections

by  /  8 December 2007

A new ‘dyeʼ called Brainbow turns drab neurons in mouse brains into multi-colored impressionistic masterpieces.

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