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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.

November 2014

Rare mutations linked to severity of autism symptoms

by  /  3 November 2014

Boys with autism who carry rare, spontaneous mutations have lower intelligence quotients and more severe symptoms than do those who may have inherited the disorder. The finding, published 21 October in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, hints at two classes of autism risk with varying severity.

October 2014

Communication lapses hinder autism research

by  /  24 October 2014

The term ‘deficit model’ traditionally means treating people with autism by focusing on their limitations rather than their strengths. Chris Gunter introduces the deficit model in a different context: science communication.


New resource catalogs impact of DNA variants on brain

by  /  22 October 2014

A new online database called Braineac details how variations in DNA sequence shape gene expression in the human brain.


Scientists plan to release thousands of whole autism genomes

by  /  21 October 2014

Researchers have sequenced the whole genomes of 1,000 people with autism and their parents, they announced yesterday at the American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting in San Diego. These sequences, and another 1,000 that are on the way, will eventually be freely available online.


Studies question link between head circumference, autism

by  /  16 October 2014

Having an enlarged head in early childhood is not a reliable marker of autism, according to two new studies that tracked changes in head and body size in children over time.


Autism research takes brains

 /  15 October 2014

Watch the complete replay of David Amaral and Alison Singer’s webinar on the potential of postmortem brain research for understanding autism.


Paired genetic analysis may pare down list of autism genes

by  /  15 October 2014

Combining analysis of large deletions or duplications in the genome with sequences from protein-coding regions can identify new syndromes, as well as the mutations that cause those disorders, according to a report published 14 September in Nature Genetics.


How early should autism treatment begin?

by  /  15 October 2014

The preliminary success of a therapy designed to help infants with symptoms of autism raises broader questions about the potential promise and many challenges of early intervention.


Studies struggle to pin down gender differences in autism

by  /  14 October 2014

Two new studies, both by reputable teams of researchers, report that there are no detectable differences between boys and girls with autism.


Restricted behaviors link autism, attention deficit

by ,  /  10 October 2014

Restricted behaviors in autism represent a genetic link with inattention and hyperactivity in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, say Tinca Polderman and Henrik Larsson.