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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.

August 2012

New device rapidly identifies worms with mutations

by  /  29 August 2012

A new tool can sort through a population of mutant nematodes and identify those with altered neuronal connections, according to a study published 19 August in Nature Methods.


Clinical research: Fragile X unlinked from intelligence

by  /  29 August 2012

Women who have intelligence quotients in the normal range may nevertheless have fragile X syndrome, often described as the most common inherited form of mental retardation, according to a case study published 27 June in Molecular Autism.


Heart matters

by  /  24 August 2012

Rather than make blanket decisions, doctors must gauge the level of cognitive impairment in individuals with autism when considering them for organ transplants, says bioethicist Arthur Caplan.


Executive confusion

by  /  21 August 2012

Among siblings of children with autism, those with better prefrontal cortex functioning — observable as relatively strong executive functions for their age — are better able to compensate for atypicalities in other brain systems early in life, and are therefore less likely to receive a diagnosis of autism later in their development, argues Mark H. Johnson.


Clinical research: Autism common in rare syndrome

by  /  21 August 2012

About 40 percent of individuals with Cornelia de Lange syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, also have autism, according to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A.


Researchers recreate blood-brain barrier in dish

by  /  15 August 2012

Using a two-step process to reprogram human stem cells, researchers have recreated the barrier that protects the brain from toxic molecules, according to a study published 24 June in Nature Biotechnology.


Researchers home in on dosage effects of 15q11-13 region

by  /  13 August 2012

Researchers are beginning to tease apart how dosage of genes within the 15q11-13 chromosomal region contributes to autism symptoms.

A white mouse stands on its hind legs against a green background.

Nonprofit rallies funds to create autism-related mouse model

by  /  9 August 2012

Concerned by researchers’ lack of access to a valuable mouse model of autism, a nonprofit advocacy group is dedicating a chunk of its limited resources to the creation of a freely available version.

July 2012

Parent perspective

by  /  27 July 2012

Parents enroll their children in genetic research studies because of the opportunities to meet other families in the same situation, take control of their circumstances, and validate the medical nature of their child’s condition, according to a report published 11 July in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.


Scientists track adult regression in autism-related syndrome

by  /  26 July 2012

Several scientists at the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation’s annual meeting focused on the wide range of symptoms, including a sudden loss of motor and cognitive skills, that seem to crop up in adults with the disorder.