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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.

March 2015

Questions for Deborah Fein: Defining ‘optimal outcome’

by  /  3 March 2015

Understanding why some children appear to outgrow their autism diagnosis may provide clues about the biology of the disorder but shouldn’t dictate treatment decisions, says Deborah Fein.

February 2015
Week of FebruaryFeb

Spotted: Social cells; brain bulge

by  /  27 February 2015

A cluster of neurons helps monkeys cooperate, and a human gene makes a mouse brain look like a person’s.


Autism’s impact on language is independent of native tongue

by  /  24 February 2015

Native speakers of tonal languages who have autism are adept at identifying pitch in music, but this does not help them interpret tone in language.


Kathryn Roeder reviews statistical tools for autism

 /  18 February 2015

Watch the complete replay of Kathryn Roeder’s webinar discussing how powerful statistical tools can yield insight into the genetic risk for autism.


When researchers share data, everyone wins

by  /  13 February 2015

Imagine a world in which researchers reveal all their clinical trial data, allowing their peers to do their own analyses and confirm the findings. A new report by the Institute of Medicine outlines ways to make this scenario a reality.


A curious experience

by  /  10 February 2015

The acclaimed Broadway play “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” gives theatergoers dazzling insight into one boy’s unusual experience of the world.

Week of FebruaryFeb

Spotted: Back to basics; measles mayhem

by  /  6 February 2015

Grad students and postdocs prove why basic science matters, and an outbreak sends a sobering message.


Lingering gaps permeate public perception of science

by  /  6 February 2015

When it comes to research, scientists and the public are often at odds. It’s a long-standing problem, but the results of a survey released last week reveal that in particular areas, this opinion gap has grown.


Some sibling sets arrive at autism with different mutations

by  /  5 February 2015

Less than one-third of sibling pairs with autism who carry rare mutations in autism-linked genes share those mutations, according to the largest study yet to sequence whole genomes of people with the disorder. The study questions the assumption that autism’s risk factors run in families, but some experts are skeptical.

January 2015
Week of JanuaryJan

Spotted: Video therapy; supplement slam

by  /  30 January 2015

Home videos may ease social deficits in babies, and a supplement maker is scolded over autism claims.