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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Efforts to ease the symptoms of autism are beginning to ramp up, with promising candidates in various stages of testing.

October 2011
Color enhanced scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of different bacteria from a human fecal sample.

Poor metabolism of sugars fuels gut woes in autism

by  /  13 October 2011

Children with autism who suffer from severe gastrointestinal problems show markedly lower-than-normal levels of enzymes needed to digest complex sugars, and of transporters that allow simple sugars to be absorbed into the blood.


Dysmorphology as biomarker for the study of autism

by  /  11 October 2011

Individuals who have autism and dysmorphology comprise a distinct subgroup within the disorder, says geneticist Judith Miles. 


Tech grant takes aim at autism diagnosis, treatment

by  /  10 October 2011

A $10 million grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation is funding a five-year project to develop new technologies that can help clinicians diagnose and treat autism.


Researchers engineer light-responsive strains of mice

by  /  5 October 2011

Researchers have engineered four new mouse lines that each show activation of a different subset of neurons in response to a blue light.


Full speed ahead

by  /  4 October 2011

President Obama signed a new law on Friday that authorizes $693 million in federal spending for autism research, services and treatment over the next three years.


New mouse model mimics many symptoms of autism

by  /  3 October 2011

Mice lacking the autism-linked gene CNTNAP2 show many of the behaviors associated with the disorder, and exhibit brain circuit disruptions similar to those seen in people who carry mutations in the gene.

September 2011

Joint effort

by  /  30 September 2011

A new study finds that preschool teachers can help improve social skills in 2- to 5-year-old children with autism by modeling behaviors such as showing and pointing, and enthusiastically responding when children mimic these behaviors.

Young person walking away from the camera.

Down by law

by  /  27 September 2011

A new study finds that Dutch children picked up by the police for minor offenses score higher than controls on a questionnaire measuring traits of autism.


Genetics: Protein that regulates serotonin linked to autism

by  /  27 September 2011

A protein that regulates the development of serotonin-producing neurons in the brain is associated with autism.


Questionnaire distinguishes autism, developmental disability

by  /  21 September 2011

Researchers have optimized an early social screening questionnaire to distinguish autism from other developmental disabilities in preschool-aged children.