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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.

July 2012

Exome sequencing identifies unknown disorders

by  /  9 July 2012

By sequencing the protein-coding region of the genome of a single affected family member, researchers were able to diagnose 20 percent of people in 85 consanguineous families with unknown neurodevelopmental disorders, according to research published 13 June in Science Translational Medicine.


Brain hack

by  /  6 July 2012

The Allen Institute convened a five-day ‘hackathon’ to create new tools that take advantage of the petabytes of brain mapping data in the institute’s massive databases.

June 2012

Service impact

by  /  29 June 2012

A report from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network analyzes the impact that the proposed changes to diagnostic criteria for autism are likely to have on people with the disorder.

Concept illustration of damaged DNA with small pieces missing

Genetics: Deletions in neurexin-1 linked to seizures

by  /  27 June 2012

Deletions in the second half of the autism-linked gene neurexin-1 are associated with seizures and large head size, according to a study published 23 May in the European Journal of Human Genetics.


The case for brain donation

by  /  26 June 2012

We can’t get back the tissue lost in the Harvard freezer malfunction, but we can try to create something positive from this tragic event, says Alison Singer.


Autism research may require tens of thousands of samples

by  /  18 June 2012

Rare variants make up the vast majority of human genetic variation, according to two independent papers published in May in Science. That means that genetic studies of complex diseases such as autism are likely to require tens of thousands of participants.

a hand holds a slide of a brain slice against a light white background

Loss of autism brain samples highlights need for donations

by  /  14 June 2012

A freezer malfunction that damaged a third of the largest collection of autism brain tissue points to the dire need for more donations, a better system for eliciting them, and a coordinated effort for storing and distributing tissue.


Sensory experience

by  /  12 June 2012

A Dutch multimedia project attempts to convey how people with autism experience the world.


Counting conditions

by  /  8 June 2012

A tool designed to detect psychiatric disorders in people with autism may produce more accurate estimates of co-occurring conditions.


Genetics: 2q21.1 variations link autism, attention deficit

by  /  8 June 2012

Researchers have found deletions and duplications of a small piece of chromosome 2 in individuals with autism, developmental delay, epilepsy or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.