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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Special Reports Curated collections of articles on special topics in autism.
Illustration by Ori Toor

Looking toward a year of 2020 vision

23 December 2019

The end of the year is a time for reflection — and making predictions for the year ahead. As part of our 2019 Year in Review, we asked researchers to ‘fill in the blanks’ and take a playful look at their past, present and future. The result is Spectrum’s ‘Lab Libs’ — a cheeky homage to the infamous Mad Libs.
We invite you to join in the fun and create your own Lab Lib as well.
Click on a photo to read a researcher’s Lab Libs submission. 

Brooke DeRosa

Postdoctoral fellow, O’Roak Lab, Oregon Health and Science University

Jonathan Sebat

Chief, Beyster Center for Molecular Genomics of Neuropsychiatric Diseases

Jill Silverman

Associate professor, University of California, Davis MIND Institute

Stela Petkova

Graduate student, Silverman Lab, University of California, Davis

Matthew Lerner

Associate professor, Stony Brook University

What a year of body snatchers 2019 has been! The NextSeq500 really laughed when my birthday happened. Looking back, I wish I had spent more time karate chopping in Mars. It would have saved me from wasting a yottabyte of time and patient samples. And I might have realized 2 + 2 = 4 a lot sooner.

I’d like to see scientists focus more on sex differences in alternative isoform expression during brain development in 2020. With another 3 billion in funding, I would create Tyrannosaurus domestica. My advice to colleagues in the new year is to backflip and never forget to scream!

What a year of grad students 2019 has been! The vibratome really spooled when impeachment happened. Looking back, I wish I had spent more time grant writing in Tijuana. It would have saved me from wasting kelvins of hard money and Twitter followers. And I might have realized “This aggression will not stand, man” a lot sooner.

I’d like to see scientists focus more on transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in 2020. With another 25 nanomoles in funding, I would run the electric Kool-Aid acid test. My advice to colleagues in the new year is to transcribe and never forget to translate!

What a year of western blots 2019 has been! The pipette really sang when Barbra Streisand’s cloned dogs happened. Looking back, I wish I had spent more time basking in Iceland. It would have saved me from wasting ug of time and water. And I might have realized a few germs never hurt anyone a lot sooner.

I’d like to see scientists focus more on neurodevelopmental disorders in 2020. With another 1 million in funding, I would study the effect of low-carb diets and exogenous ketones on sleep quality and characteristics in kids with autism. My advice to colleagues in the new year is to live and never forget to sleep!

What a year of mice 2019 has been! The shaker really strolled when bees happened. Looking back, I wish I had spent more time trampolining in Florida. It would have saved me from wasting a picometer of diamonds and water. And I might have realized ‘silence is golden’ a lot sooner.

I’d like to see scientists focus more on serotonin receptors in 2020. With another 14 billion in funding, I would cure Angelman syndrome. My advice to colleagues in the new year is to forfeit and never forget to whisper!

What a year of monkeys 2019 has been! The ocular electrode really pounce when the release of the Mueller Report happened. Looking back, I wish I had spent more time whittling in Sesame Place. It would have saved me from wasting a smoot of uranium and love. And I might have realized everything is impermanent and changing a lot sooner.

I’d like to see scientists focus more on penguin migratory patterns in 2020. With another $7.16 in funding, I would create experimental conditions of varying levels of subjective acceptance to examine their impact on social functioning. My advice to colleagues in the new year is to flub and never forget to bite!

Create your own SFARI Lab Lib

Fill in the blanks below and click "Make my Lab Lib!" to view your results. You can share your Lab Lib by pasting it into the comments section or by using the email submission option below.

What a year of 2019 has been! The really when happened.

Looking back, I wish I had spent more time in . It would have saved me from wasting of and . And I might have realized a lot sooner.

I’d like to see scientists focus more on in 2020.

With another in funding, I would .

My advice to colleagues in the new year is to and never forget to