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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.

June 2014

Light corrections illuminate a path into fish brains

by  /  11 June 2014

Taking a page from astronomy’s playbook, researchers have developed a way to take dramatically clear pictures of the inner workings of a zebrafish brain.


School program makes inroads into acceptance of autism

by  /  10 June 2014

Middle-school girls are more willing to include their classmates with autism in social activities after completing an awareness program.


In autism, brain shows unusual thinning throughout life

by  /  5 June 2014

The cortex, the outer layer of the brain, grows rapidly in early childhood in people with autism and thins differently with age than it does in controls, two new studies report.


Genetics: Gene linked to adult regression implicated in Rett

by  /  3 June 2014

A teenage girl with Rett syndrome has a mutation in WFR45, a gene that is mutated in people who abruptly lose motor and mental skills in adulthood, according to a study published 13 March in the Journal of Human Genetics.


Large study underscores role of gene copy number in autism

by  /  2 June 2014

People with autism tend to carry mutations that duplicate or delete several genes at once, according to a large study published 1 May in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

May 2014

Policy set to reduce gender inequality in biomedical studies

by  /  30 May 2014

A new policy that aims to eliminate gender bias in animal and cell-based biomedical research is outlined in the 15 May Nature.


Clinical research: Angelman gene variants alter symptoms

by  /  30 May 2014

The nature of the mutation that leads to Angelman syndrome — a disorder characterized by speech impairment and developmental delays — affects the disorder’s presentation, reports a study published 19 March in Research in Developmental Disabilities.


State laws for autism coverage are uneven across U.S.

by  /  23 May 2014

States with the weakest infrastructure for diagnosing children with autism often lack laws requiring compensation for treatment costs, finds an analysis published 30 April in the journal Autism.


Takeaways from IMFAR 2014

by  /  22 May 2014

A focus on adults with autism and on junior researchers in the field were two of the themes at the 2014 International Meeting for Autism Research in Atlanta, Georgia.


Environment, genetics may contribute equally to autism risk

by  /  22 May 2014

A large study of autism in Swedish families suggests that about half of the risk for autism comes from genetics and the other half from environmental factors, researchers reported 7 May in The Journal of the American Medical Association. However, the mathematical model the study used may not be appropriate for evaluating autism risk, experts say.