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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.

July 2013

How do we help adults who have a ‘childhood’ disorder?

by  /  22 July 2013

Numerous studies detail the complex challenges and the dearth of treatments that people with autism face as they mature into adulthood. Why are there so few solutions?


Job hunt

by  /  19 July 2013

Independent living, community support and high levels of motivation help people with autism find and keep jobs, reports a study published 18 June in Research in Developmental Disabilities.


Fluorescent proteins shine new light on cells

by  /  17 July 2013

Researchers have found a new way to light up proteins in living cells, revealing the connections between neurons, according to a study published 19 June in Neuron.

Photograph of a young child lying face-down on pavement in apparent frustration.

Ritalin probe

by  /  16 July 2013

Ritalin lowers impulsivity, oppositional behavior and attention deficit in children with autism and has mild side effects, reports a study published 19 June in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.


Francesca Happe presents ‘fractionated triad’ model

 /  24 July 2013

Watch the complete replay of Francesca Happé discussing how autism’s constellation of symptoms may have independent biological causes. Submit your own follow-up questions.


Cognition and behavior: Bacteria make germ-free mice social

by  /  12 July 2013

Introducing gut bacteria to mice that lack them increases their sociability, but mainly with familiar mice, reports a study published 21 May in Molecular Psychiatry.

Visualization of a DNA sequence.

Study catalogs features of Phelan-McDermid syndrome

by  /  11 July 2013

The majority of people lacking a functional copy of the SHANK3 gene have both autism and severe intellectual disability, according to a study published 11 June in Molecular Autism.


What’s the best route to a brain map?

by  /  8 July 2013

A new three-dimensional, whole-brain model provides an unprecedented level of detail of the brain and its connections. Can it be used to study autism?


Clinics unroll genome tests for undiagnosed disorders

by  /  8 July 2013

Two university-based clinics have debuted large programs that rely on sequencing to diagnose genetic disorders, including developmental disorders such as autism.


High-resolution model showcases brain anatomy

by  /  4 July 2013

Researchers have sliced a human brain into more than 7,400 slivers, and stained and scanned them to create ‘BigBrain,’ the most detailed three-dimensional map of a human brain to date, they reported 21 June in Science.