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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Science & Society

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

July 2013

Francesca Happe presents ‘fractionated triad’ model

 /  24 July 2013

Watch the complete replay of Francesca Happé discussing how autism’s constellation of symptoms may have independent biological causes. Submit your own follow-up questions.


Cognition and behavior: Bacteria make germ-free mice social

by  /  12 July 2013

Introducing gut bacteria to mice that lack them increases their sociability, but mainly with familiar mice, reports a study published 21 May in Molecular Psychiatry.


Study catalogs features of Phelan-McDermid syndrome

by  /  11 July 2013

The majority of people lacking a functional copy of the SHANK3 gene have both autism and severe intellectual disability, according to a study published 11 June in Molecular Autism.


What’s the best route to a brain map?

by  /  8 July 2013

A new three-dimensional, whole-brain model provides an unprecedented level of detail of the brain and its connections. Can it be used to study autism?


Clinics unroll genome tests for undiagnosed disorders

by  /  8 July 2013

Two university-based clinics have debuted large programs that rely on sequencing to diagnose genetic disorders, including developmental disorders such as autism.


High-resolution model showcases brain anatomy

by  /  4 July 2013

Researchers have sliced a human brain into more than 7,400 slivers, and stained and scanned them to create ‘BigBrain,’ the most detailed three-dimensional map of a human brain to date, they reported 21 June in Science.


Health records reveal autism’s full picture

by  /  2 July 2013

Electronic health records may help researchers assemble information about autism, such as its full range of symptoms, from thousands of individuals, says Isaac Kohane.


Is it time to rethink head size?

by  /  1 July 2013

A new analysis challenges the long-reported correlation between autism and abnormally large head circumference, begging the question: Should head size matter?

June 2013

Medication nation

by  /  28 June 2013

U.K. doctors prescribe fewer medications for autism than doctors in the U.S., perhaps due to tighter drug laws and a more conservative medical culture, suggests a new study, published 17 May in Psychopharmacology.

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Analysis probes literature for autism-linked gene culprits

by  /  26 June 2013

By combining bioinformatics techniques with an analysis of gene expression, researchers have identified 30 candidate genes for autism, according to a study published 28 May in Translational Psychiatry.