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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.

November 2012

Growing our community

by  /  9 November 2012 is developing an online community for autism researchers to share ideas and opinions. We want your input.


In hurricane’s wake, questions about animal facilities

by  /  7 November 2012

Life for most New Yorkers is getting back to normal after the unprecedented destruction caused last week by Hurricane Sandy, but researchers at New York University face a painful and painstaking recovery.


Virtual brain suggests neural connections form randomly

by  /  7 November 2012

Researchers are assembling a virtual reconstruction of the brain by piecing together simulations of thousands of neurons, they reported 16 October in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They used this model to show that most junctions between neurons form randomly and not as the result of chemical signals.


Publishing secrets

by  /  6 November 2012

Papers that are turned down by one journal and end up being published by another are cited significantly more often than papers accepted by the first-choice journal, according to an analysis published 12 October in Science.


Late arrival

by  /  2 November 2012

Girls with Asperger syndrome are diagnosed, on average, two years later than boys, and the delay is even worse among adults with classic autism, according to a large study in the Netherlands published 22 September in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.


Clinical research: Language disorder distinct from autism

by  /  2 November 2012

The families of children with specific language impairment do not have a history of autism, according to a study published 28 August in Genes, Brain and Behavior. The results bolster the theory that the two disorders have independent risk factors.

Genomic laboratory equipment.

Genetic tests for autism debut amid concerns about validity

by  /  1 November 2012

A genetic panel intended to predict the risk of developing autism debuted for clinical use in April, while another is in commercial development and a third was published in Molecular Psychiatry in September. But some experts are concerned, saying the tests are based on preliminary scientific evidence.

October 2012

Mutations in both gene copies more common in autism

by  /  30 October 2012

People with autism are twice as likely as controls to have mutations that disable both copies of a gene, according to preliminary research presented Wednesday at the Autism Consortium Research Symposium in Boston.


Autism Speaks launches scheme to develop drugs, devices

by  /  25 October 2012

The research and advocacy organization Autism Speaks plans to launch a nonprofit arm that will fund companies to develop treatments for the disorder, Robert Ring, head of translational research for the organization, announced yesterday at the Autism Consortium Research Symposium in Boston.


Big show

by  /  23 October 2012

Our coverage of the 2012 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting ran the gamut from feral monkeys to the language of mice and new treatments for fragile X syndrome.