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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.

October 2014

Brain development gene emerges as strong autism candidate

by  /  2 October 2014

Hundreds of genes are linked to autism, but most have not been clearly characterized. ADNP is one of a small group of genes that, when mutated, seem to lead to autism in a substantial proportion of cases.


Gene-editing tool can erase proteins at neuronal junctions

by  /  1 October 2014

CRISPR, the genetic tool that cuts and pastes DNA, can eliminate specific proteins at the points of connection between neurons. The method, described 3 September in Neuron, could help researchers determine the role of those proteins in brain signaling.


Mark Daly maps the genetic architecture of autism

 /  1 October 2014

On 1 October, Mark Daly discussed new insights into autism from common and rare genetic variants. (Due to technical issues, the video replay for this webinar is unavailable.)

September 2014

California universities to come together for autism research

by  /  22 September 2014

The University of California has launched an ambitious 18-month project to connect autism researchers across its ten campuses.


New clues connect altered patterns of DNA tags to autism

by  /  16 September 2014

Methyl tags on DNA are distributed differently in postmortem brains from people with autism than in control brains, and mouse pups can inherit altered methylation from their older fathers, report two new studies.


New algorithm detects DNA insertions and deletions

by  /  10 September 2014

A new algorithm accurately detects large DNA insertions and deletions in the protein-coding regions of the genome.


Autism, attention deficit marked by opposing brain changes

by  /  9 September 2014

A brain hub responsible for higher-order tasks may be overly connected in autism and thinly connected in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.


SFARI social at SfN 2014

by  /  8 September 2014

The presenters for this year’s Autism Research Social at SfN have been selected. If you’ll be at conference, please join us 17 November for an evening of food, conversation and new data.


In Chinese newspapers, stories on autism neglect science

by  /  5 September 2014

News stories about autism in China are becoming more common, but tend to skimp on scientific facts, reports a study of five leading daily newspapers.

August 2014

Method reveals relationship between white, gray matter

by  /  27 August 2014

A new technique helps researchers trace the nerve fibers that connect brain regions by revealing how the fibers physically relate to curves and folds on the brain’s surface. The method was described 8 July in Medical Image Analysis.