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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.

August 2014

Can a drug for a parasitic disease really treat autism?

by  /  6 August 2014

Reports of a century-old drug that reverses autism-like symptoms in mice raise key questions about the complexity of translating promising research into real treatments.

July 2014

Induced stem cells retain traces of their former state

by  /  30 July 2014

Reprogrammed stem cells carry remnants of their previous cell states in the form of chemical cues that alter gene expression, reports a paper published 10 July in Nature. An alternative method that creates so-called nuclear transfer embryonic stem cells produces fewer errors.


Charting collaborations in autism research

by  /  18 July 2014

Autism researchers collaborate a great deal, says Helen Tager-Flusberg, and collaboration has increased over the past five years — most likely reflecting the maturation of the field and the greater opportunities to meet.


Maternal factors, birth order up autism risk

by  /  17 July 2014

Having one child with autism raises the odds of having a second child with the disorder 20-fold, according to one of the largest epidemiological studies so far to address the inheritance of autism risk.


Computer vision may aid in screening for autism

by  /  16 July 2014

New algorithms can analyze recordings of infants performing tasks that gauge their attention, suggesting a way to automate the detection of autism symptoms.


The urgent need to shorten autism’s diagnostic odyssey

by ,  /  15 July 2014

With the rate of autism now at 1 in 68 people and climbing, the need for solutions that reach the risk population more quickly and effectively has never been more real, say Dennis Wall and Glenn Saxe.


Pair of modified enzymes boost gene-editing precision

by  /  9 July 2014

A pair of enzymes improve the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR by providing more precise molecular ‘scissors’ to cut and paste DNA snippets.


Pac-Man maze leads children with autism to ‘good’ smiles

by  /  4 July 2014

A computer game based on face recognition helps children with autism feign expressions more convincingly than before.


Cognition and behavior: Test assesses sensory sensitivity

by  /  4 July 2014

A new questionnaire may help assess sensory problems — such as heightened awareness of bright colors or loud noises — in adults with autism.


Cluster of symptoms reveals gene’s link to autism subtype

by  /  3 July 2014

CHD8, a gene that regulates the structure of DNA, is the closest thing so far to an ‘autism gene,’ suggests a study published today in Cell. People with mutations in this gene all have the same cluster of symptoms, including autism.