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Science & Society

From funding decisions to scientific fraud, a wide range of societal factors shape autism research.

December 2020
three children in profile with speech bubbles: one is empty, one contains one letter, and one contains the word 'hi" to illustrate various levels of verbal ability.
Features / Special Reports / Hindsight is 2020: The year in review

2020: The year in quotes

23 December 2020

In our favorite quotes from stories we published in 2020, researchers contemplate blue poop, celebrate null findings and find a few silver linings in life during lockdown.

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Lab scene during COVID 19 pandemic.
Features / Special Reports / Hindsight is 2020: The year in review

Inside the reporter’s notebook: Dispatches from 2020

23 December 2020

Spectrum‘s staff couldn’t report on the ground this year — with no lab visits, sit-down interviews or in-person conferences to attend — but we observed a lot of changes from our computer screens.

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Micrograph of nerve cells being targeted by CRISPR enzyme to activate the silenced gene in Angelman syndrome
Features / Special Reports / Hindsight is 2020: The year in review

Hot topics in autism research, 2020

23 December 2020

The Spectrum team highlights five topics that distinguished autism research in 2020: diversity in data, gene therapies, subtyping, social circuitry and the ‘autism gene’ debate.

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portrait of Dr. Waganesh Zeleke.
Opinion / Q&A

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Waganesh Zeleke

by  /  22 December 2020

Waganesh Zeleke studies how cultural views can shape autistic people’s lives, as well as the lives of those around them.

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Week of DecemberDec
7th
2020
News / Spotted

Spotted around the web: Seeing circuits, a new “hitchhiker’s guide” and ‘gectosomes’

by  /  11 December 2020

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 7 December.

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Depressed teenager sitting on floor in darkened hallway.
News

Co-occurring psychiatric conditions put autistic people at risk for self-harm

by  /  11 December 2020

Autistic people are at an increased risk for intentional self-harm and death by suicide, but co-occurring psychiatric conditions may drive those behaviors.

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Global map of 17,800 human proteins.
News / Toolbox

Proteome map identifies more than 90 percent of all human proteins

by  /  9 December 2020

Researchers expand on the already enormous progress made on the Human Proteome Project

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Two children are interacting with a toy in the shape of a brain.
Opinion / Q&A

How redefining autism could improve research on the condition

by  /  8 December 2020

Ami Klin wants researchers, clinicians and policymakers to think of autism as something inborn that only predisposes a child to certain traits. Early intervention can change the course of development.

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Week of NovemberNov
30th
2020
News / Spotted

Spotted around the web: Dance revolution, Angelman trial, predicting proteins

by  /  4 December 2020

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 30 November.

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Portrait of of Kim Kaiser, Director of programming at Color of Autism.
Opinion / Q&A

How autism researchers can better reach Black families

by  /  1 December 2020

Kim Kaiser spoke with Spectrum about the nonprofit organization The Color of Autism, why researchers fail to reach Black families and what’s needed to fix that disparity.

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