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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.

May 2013

How would you spend $9 million?

by  /  27 May 2013

The National Institute of Mental Health’s $9-million bet on aggressive autism drug development reflects the dearth of treatment options for the disorder. Will this ‘fast-fail’ approach pay off?


Funding agency shifts focus away from diagnostic groups

by  /  27 May 2013

The National Institute of Mental Health is moving away from research proposals that hew closely to clinical diagnoses such as autism spectrum disorder. The announcement has struck many autism researchers as an attack on the already-controversial new diagnostic criteria for the disorder.


Fast-fail pipeline

by  /  24 May 2013

A $9 million grant to the University of California, Los Angeles aims to drive clinical trials for autism that would quickly rule out ineffective compounds.


Video: Microscopy technique reveals whole fish brain

by  /  22 May 2013

A new microscopy technique, published in the May issue of Nature Methods, can show the activity of more than 80 percent of the brain’s neurons at one time.


How do we take the long view on autism?

by  /  20 May 2013

The precious few long-term studies of autism have produced unique insight into the development and ultimate outcomes of the disorder. How can we encourage more of them?


How can parents help shape autism research?

by  /  13 May 2013

We check in with the community about building more efficient bridges between families affected by autism and the scientists seeking its cure.


Blood test for autism?

by  /  10 May 2013

In April, Massachusetts-based diagnostics company SynapDx launched a large-scale study of its blood test for autism, which analyzes expression of a panel of genes.


Parents turn their skills to furthering autism research

by  /  9 May 2013

Most parents educate themselves as much as possible when their child is diagnosed with a disorder. A handful of others — in many cases, mothers — have devoted their professional lives to research on autism-related disorders.


Researchers watch as proteins travel to neuronal junctions

by  /  8 May 2013

Using high-resolution microscopy, researchers can watch as signaling complexes assemble at neuronal junctions in zebrafish embryos, according to a study published 17 April in Cell Reports.


Save your money

by  /  7 May 2013

A genetic test purported to detect children with autism may instead be highlighting ancestry differences, says T. Grant Belgard.