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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.

January 2023
Graham Diering smiles in a portrait in his yard.

Asleep in the Mouse House with Graham Diering

by  /  12 January 2023

Memories from Diering’s life trace the rising star’s scientific path from raising lizards as a child and later exploring home brewing to heading a lab that investigates memory, sleep disturbances and early development in animals with autism-linked mutations.

A hand holds a compass against a blue background.

Spectrum Launch: What makes a good graduate school interview?

by  /  11 January 2023

‘Tis the season for grad school meet and greets. But what are interviewers looking for, and how can early-career researchers bring their best?

Several people stand around a comments box that is dispensing speech bubbles in a futuristic digital landscape.

‘Science working as it should’: Autism blood signature study earns open post-publication review

by  /  10 January 2023

Shortly after the study’s publication, experts critiqued it on PubPeer and other online platforms.

Speech bubble formed by a network of communication

Community Newsletter: Confounding head motion; monkey moves; motor speech in autism

by  /  8 January 2023

Moving into the new year, researchers on Twitter talked about motion as a confounder for brain-imaging studies, connections between macaque brain activity and body movements, and the importance of motor-speech research in autism.

Week of JanuaryJan

Spotted around the web: shock therapy; telehealth; restraint policies

by ,  /  6 January 2023

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 2 January.

Two teenage girls sit next to each other on a couch, one looking at a cell phone while the other uses a tablet computer.

Turner syndrome tied to autism

by  /  5 January 2023

Most people with the X-linked syndrome have autism traits, and about one-quarter meet diagnostic criteria for the condition.

December 2022
Collage illustration of several people constructing a city with a Brazilian flag visible.

How to plan policies that support the autism community in Brazil: Lessons from a U.S. experience

by  /  21 December 2022

Brazil could learn from the challenges and successes of other nations to become a leader in planning for the needs of autistic people.

A young woman sits alone in a doctor’s office.

How scientists can counteract their unwitting contributions to autism’s sex bias

by  /  20 December 2022

Common diagnostic and research practices may be adding to autism’s sex bias, but there are some simple steps scientists can take to counteract it.

A series of colorful, abstract geometric shapes against a light, tan background.

Chronicle of a field retold: Autism science in profile

by  /  19 December 2022

Instead of reflecting on autism through studies or statistics, for Spectrum’s fifth annual book we sought a more personal lens: the lives of the people who research the condition.

Many mouths making conversation, with speech bubbles in red and blue.

Community Newsletter: Chromatin regulators; dysregulated protein synthesis; microglia and myelin

by  /  18 December 2022

This week, scientists on Twitter discussed new functions for autism-linked genes, underpinnings for restricted and repetitive behaviors, and roles for microglia.