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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 2013

One year after Hurricane Sandy, kindness buoys New York labs

by  /  28 October 2013

Walking through Gordon Fishell’s lab now, you would never know that much of his research was swept away by Hurricane Sandy, almost exactly a year ago. But across the rest of New York University’s medical center, the recovery has been uneven.


Tim Roberts: Sounding out a signature for autism

by  /  24 October 2013

Tim Roberts knits together physics, medicine and technology to trace the origins of language processing problems in the brain, hoping to identify a telltale signature, or biomarker, for autism.


New sequencing technique may reveal recessive mutations

by  /  23 October 2013

A new method of genetic analysis allows researchers to identify regions that are identical on both copies of a chromosome, according to a study published 20 September in Molecular Cytogenetics.


Best practices

by ,  /  22 October 2013

Guidelines for the use of electroencephalography in autism will ensure that researchers have a common set of standards, which will speed up discovery, say Sara Jane Webb and Raphael Bernier.


Cancer pathway connects autism to set of rare disorders

by  /  21 October 2013

About one in four people diagnosed with a group of rare disorders have autism, according to a study published 7 October in the Journal of Medical Genetics. The disorders all affect a single cancer-related pathway, driven by a protein called RAS.

Photograph of a young girl laying in bed with her eyes open.

Sleep deprivation

by  /  18 October 2013

Children with autism go to sleep later, wake up earlier and have less restful sleep than other children their age, reports an 11-year study published 23 September.


Automated tool spies on multiple mice simultaneously

by  /  16 October 2013

Researchers have developed software that can automatically track and catalog the behavior of up to four mice at once, according to a study published 16 September in PLoS One.


ESSENCE: From defined categories to broad understanding

by  /  8 October 2013

Clinicians should place children under age 5 who have developmental delay into a broad diagnostic category, called ESSENCE, which may then resolve into any number of individual diagnoses over time, says Christopher Gillberg. 


Conflicting messages

by  /  4 October 2013

Two contradictory studies prompt questions about the reliability of self-report questionnaires in autism.


Superior math skills may accompany autism, study suggests

by  /  3 October 2013

Some children with autism show unique patterns of brain activation while solving math problems, particularly in a brain region normally used for face processing, suggests a study published 15 August in Biological Psychiatry.