Spectrum Autism Research

Spectrum Autism Research

Your latest update from Spectrum, the leading source of news and expert opinion on autism research.

Episodes

October 25, 2021 8 min
Fallout over two recent studies highlights the potential power of social media to shape science, and the shifting dynamics between researchers and the autistic community. The post Backlash from autistic community pauses research, exposes communication gaps appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News.
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Parallels between how birds learn to sing and how children learn to speak provide a window into the roots of language difficulties in autism. The post Tuning into bird songs for clues to autism appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News.
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For 40 years, the preponderance of autism research has focused on understanding the causes and characteristics of the condition rather than testing assessments or interventions in community settings. The post Autism research continues to stress basic science over improving interventions appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News.
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Autistic people have a higher-than-average chance of developing a neurodegenerative condition, according to a few studies. Some scientists are searching for proof — work that could also improve care for older autistic adults. The post "The search for a link between autism and neurodegenerative conditions appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News
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Some types of restricted and repetitive behaviors become more prevalent among autistic children and teenagers over time, depending on their age and intellectual ability, whereas others decrease. The post Repetitive behaviors wax and wane among autistic youth appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News.
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Children born to people given an epidural during labor do not have an increased chance of having autism, according to two new studies. The post "No link between epidurals and autism, two studies confirm" appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News
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Spontaneous genetic mutations contribute to autism in 30 to 39 percent of all people with the condition, and 52 to 67 percent of autistic children whose siblings do not also have the condition. The post "Analysis ups estimate of spontaneous mutations’ role in autism" appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News
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One of the most popular theories of autism’s origins suggests that the condition arises from a hyper-excitable brain. The post "The signaling imbalance theory of autism, explained" appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News
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An advanced DNA-sequencing technique has identified gene-damaging mutations, some with ties to autism, in about 1 in 15 men. The post "Mutations linked to autism may be detectable in men’s sperm" appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News
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Differences in social behavior are central to autism, and the roots of those behaviors extend throughout the animal kingdom, says Anne Simon, a behavioral geneticist at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada.
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Scientists have also studied the nighttime rituals of another autism model: zebrafish (Danio rerio). Gene-editing techniques enable scientists to create zebrafish with autism-linked mutations, and then they can easily assess how the mutations effect behavior.
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In 2012, geneticist Santhosh Girirajan boarded a plane in Seattle, where he had just finished a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington. On the plane, he cracked open a book he had received as a going-away present: “Time, Love, Memory,” the story of biologist Seymour Benzer’s Nobel Prize-winning discoveries about sleep and circadian rhythms in fruit flies.
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Rand began using roundworms to study nervous system development in the 1970s. In the mid-2000s, when some of the first studies of autism genetics were published, he remembered something his wife had brought up years before, around the time their two sons were diagnosed with autism.
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In a windowless room near the western edge of Vancouver, Canada, a team of researchers trains microscopes on dishes of tiny worms about the size of a comma in 12-point font.
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September 17, 2021 4 min
Octopuses can solve some of the same problems as people but do so in unusual ways. The post "Getting eight arms around autism appeared first" Spectrum | Autism Research News
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September 15, 2021 4 min
Frogs are useful for autism research for a slew of reasons, including the fact that the animals' initial development occurs outside of the mother's body in plain view. The post "Autism research makes the leap to frogs" appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News
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September 13, 2021 4 min
Parallels between how birds learn to sing and how children learn to speak provide a window into the roots of language difficulties in autism. The post "Tuning into bird songs for clues to autism" Spectrum | Autism Research News
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Steve Warren co-discovered the genetic mechanism that underpins fragile X syndrome and was a generous, inspiring mentor to many. The post"Remembering Steve Warren (1953-2021): A giant in the field of genetics" appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News
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A Paris-born child psychologist, Fombonne has advanced bold positions on the cause, prevalence and nature of autism during a career spanning four countries. The post "Eric Fombonne: Crossing continents to expand autism science"appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News
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Studies of autism subtypes rarely validate their results, and this has led to a proliferation of autism subtypes of questionable utility. But reliable subtyping can help improve the prognosis for and care of autistic people. The post "Validating autism subtypes: A crucial but often overlooked step in research" appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News
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