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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 2012
A family on a walk.

Clinical research: Autism threshold higher in girls than boys

by  /  11 January 2012

Girls may have a higher threshold for the genetic abnormalities that lead to autism than boys do, according to a new study in the January issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B.  


Autism’s cost

by  /  10 January 2012

New numbers are shedding light on just how much it costs to care for children with autism — and, importantly, what is driving those costs.


Genetics: Large variants linked to intellectual disability

by  /  10 January 2012

Intellectual disability is more likely to be associated with multiple, large or non-inherited duplications and deletions of DNA than is autism, according to a study published 7 November in PLoS Genetics.


Funding fears prevent researchers from sharing their mice

by  /  9 January 2012

Despite funders’ requirements to share mouse models after publication, many researchers hoard the animals for the good of their labs — and that could have an adverse effect on the field as a whole.


Screen time

by  /  6 January 2012

Children with autism are twice as likely as controls to spend most of their free time watching television or videos.


To make big data available to all, reach for the clouds

by  /  5 January 2012

As the amount of genomics and other data rapidly grows, researchers are turning to cloud computing; commercial services for remote data storage and processing that allow even those with little infrastructure to handle big data.


Brain atlas maps gene expression across development

by  /  4 January 2012

Researchers have charted the expression of more than 15,000 brain genes across 15 stages of development, spanning from 4 weeks post-conception to more than 60 years of age, they reported 27 October in Nature.

December 2011

Rhode Island plans statewide registry for autism research

by  /  22 December 2011

A consortium of autism researchers, advocates and educators in Rhode Island are aiming to harness the advantages of the state’s small size and tight-knit autism community to build the most comprehensive registry for the disorder yet.


Quick test for fragile X may be ideal for developing nations

by  /  21 December 2011

Dried spots of blood taken from infants at birth can help clinicians screen for fragile X syndrome in countries with limited resources, according to a study published 11 October in Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers.


Adult decisions

by  /  20 December 2011

A new report outlines priorities for studying adults with autism, ranging from designing diagnostic tests to the most effective models of long-term care.