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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.

January 2013

Conversation with avatar teaches social skills

by  /  2 January 2013

In a virtual reality game intended to improve social skills in teenagers with autism, the players must ask computer avatars the right questions while seeming engaged in the conversation. The game was described 27 September in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering.

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December 2012

Brothers and sisters

by  /  18 December 2012

People with autism have fewer children than average, and so do their brothers, according to a study of Swedes born between 1950 and 1970.

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Can we crowdsource autism research?

by  /  17 December 2012

Sebastian Seung launched a new online community game that aims to map the trillions of connections in the human brain. How might crowdsourcing advance autism research?

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How to undo stereotypes that hinder women in science

by  /  11 December 2012

Late this summer, a paper from Yale University researchers led by Jo Handelsman delivered some sobering news: There is still a clear bias against female scientists. The findings confirm the impression of many women in science, at all career levels, who feel undervalued.

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Coloring book

by  /  10 December 2012

Sebastian Seung invites an online community of citizen scientists to revolutionize neuroscience by mapping connections between the brain’s neurons.

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What does a genetic mosaic tell us?

by  /  10 December 2012

New work suggests that the skin, a common source for deriving induced pluripotent stem cells, is a genetic mosaic. What does this mean for stem cell research? Are there implications for the human brain?

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Culture: Diverse diagnostics

by  /  6 December 2012

The study of autism around the globe must account for a variety of behavioural norms in different societies.

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Perspective: Imaging autism

by  /  6 December 2012

Several studies in the past two years have claimed that brain scans can diagnose autism, but this assertion is deeply flawed, says Nicholas Lange.

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Study allays fears about usefulness of induced stem cells

by  /  6 December 2012

Some of the genetic variability seen in stem cells derived from skin arises from differences in the skin cells themselves, according to a study published 18 November in Nature. The findings have implications for both stem cell research and our understanding of human biology.

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Cognition and behavior: Gender influences autism symptoms

by  /  5 December 2012

Men with autism struggle with attention to detail and dexterity, according to a study published 17 October in PLoS One. Men and women with the disorder both have trouble with social skills, however.

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