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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.

December 2010

Stimulating research

by  /  6 December 2010

The National Database for Autism Research (NDAR), created by the National Institutes of Health to ease data sharing among autism researchers, has released the first batch of data on more than 10,000 participants enrolled in federally funded autism research studies.

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Defects in mitochondria linked to autism

by  /  3 December 2010

Cells drawn from a small sample of children with autism show defects in the functioning of their mitochondria — structures that produce energy to power cellular functions — according to a study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Schools of thought

by  /  2 December 2010

Cases of autism in some high-risk areas are leveling off, argues a new study published in November in Pediatrics.

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November 2010

Molecular mechanisms: Researchers light up interactions between neurons

by  /  30 November 2010

Researchers have developed a technique to detect interactions in live neurons between neuroligins and neurexins — two proteins known to bind at the junction between neurons, according to a study published 29 October in Cell.

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‘Daydreaming’ circuit implicated in autism, attention deficit

by  /  24 November 2010

Areas of the brain that are active when people are daydreaming or sleeping, and quiet when they are engaged in a task, are imperfectly synchronized in people with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, researchers say.

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Congressman Kennedy calls for neuroscience ‘moonshot’

by  /  19 November 2010

Sharing stories about his own family’s struggles with neurological disease, Patrick J. Kennedy, a Democratic Congressman, on Monday called for a focused national program to uncover the causes and treatments for brain disorders. The challenge today, he told SFARI, is to devote enough resources for research on disorders such as autism.

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Genetics: Lower verbal intelligence in autism is inherited

by  /  17 November 2010

Better performance on intelligence tests that measure spatial rather than verbal ability is inherited in people with autism, according to a paper published online in October in Human Genetics.

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Pattern recognition

by  /  17 November 2010

MIT researchers are testing a new device that analyzes rocking and other repetitive movements in people with autism.

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Large postmortem brain study traces spine shapes

by  /  16 November 2010

The brains of people with autism have abnormally dense and stubby dendritic spines, the neuronal projections that receive electrical signals, according to data presented Monday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

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All in the family

by  /  5 November 2010

A new study raises provocative questions about the definition of recurrence in families of children with autism.

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