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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Signs & Symptoms

Autism’s core symptoms accompany a constellation of subtle signs that scientists are just beginning to unmask.

November 2018

Roundworm roundup may reveal function of autism genes

by  /  6 November 2018

Tracking how roundworms crawl has enabled scientists to determine that many autism genes are involved in sensory processing and learning.

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Robot ‘rat’ meets real rat — and science happens

by  /  6 November 2018

An autonomous robotic ‘rat’ may offer novel insights into the social responses of its warm-blooded counterparts.

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Zebra finch in a researcher's hand is given an oxytocin blocker.

Blocking oxytocin causes birds to sing solitary tunes

by  /  5 November 2018

Inhibiting the social hormone oxytocin alters the songs male zebra finches sing to attract females.

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Pattern of squeaks corresponds to social behavior in autism mice

by  /  5 November 2018

The pattern of high-pitched calls a mouse makes may reflect how, and how much, it is interacting with other mice. The pattern holds for typical mice as well as for two mouse models of autism.

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Low brain hormone levels may be reliable marker of autism

by  /  5 November 2018

Children with autism tend to have low levels of the hormone vasopressin in their brain, according to the largest study yet to look at the levels.

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Rett marmoset model made with CRISPR has its debut

by  /  5 November 2018

Scientists used the gene-editing tool CRISPR to create two marmosets lacking MECP2, the gene mutated in Rett syndrome.

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A white lab rat on a grey background.

Brain scans of rats reveal molecular clues to autism’s link

by  /  4 November 2018

Rats exposed prenatally to a cocktail of ‘autoimmune’ molecules have altered levels of two types of compounds needed for brain development.

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Siblings of children with autism may have trouble with motor tasks

by  /  4 November 2018

Siblings of children with autism have motor difficulties similar to those in autistic children, but milder.

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Sensory issues in autism may have sex-specific roots

by  /  4 November 2018

Girls and boys with autism show different patterns of brain activity in response to sensory stimuli.

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An adult rhesus macaque grooms a juvenile.

Study supports use of eye tracking to study monkey behavior

by  /  3 November 2018

Rhesus macaques that are drawn to other monkeys’ faces in videos also tend to be highly social with their peers.

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