Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

July 2021
Illustration shows a woman whose mouth is covered by a cloud and whos eyes are covered by a cloud.

Double empathy, explained

by  /  22 July 2021

The double empathy theory challenges the idea that social difficulties are specific to autism and suggests that problems arise from a mismatch in perspective between autistic and non-autistic people.

0 Comments
Micrographs comparing motor cortex neurons in mice with and without an extra copy of MECP2 gene.

Blocking key pathway reverses brain, behavior changes in autism mouse model

by  /  19 July 2021

Neurons in mice with an autism-linked mutation sprout extraneous protrusions, an overgrowth accompanied by above-average motor learning. Inhibiting a cell signaling pathway reverses the effect.

0 Comments
Many mouths making conversation, with speech bubbles in red and blue.

Community Newsletter: Online theory-of-mind test, strengths-based autism diagnosis, mapping trajectories

by  /  18 July 2021

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we dissect a new online version of the Frith-Happé test, a strengths-based diagnostic approach, and autistic children’s trajectories after diagnosis.

0 Comments
Immature inhibitory cells surround mature neuron.

Critical time window flagged for autism gene’s influence

by  /  16 July 2021

A transplant of inhibitory neurons during the second week of life prevents social difficulties and a brain signaling imbalance in mice missing a copy of FOXG1.

0 Comments
Four brown lab mice in a cage, top-down view, with one mouse away from the group.

Autism-linked mutation may blur brain’s boundary between self, others

by  /  15 July 2021

A mutation in the autism-linked gene SHANK3 changes how neurons encode information about social agency in mice.

0 Comments
Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results

Null and Noteworthy: Oxytocin, parental training, outcome assessments

by  /  15 July 2021

In this edition of Null and Noteworthy, researchers open the case on acetaminophen and close it on oxytocin.

0 Comments

Patchwork mutations present a new frontier for autism research

by  /  12 July 2021

Mosaic mutations, which affect only some of the body’s cells, play a small but meaningful role in autism. Though they are difficult to study, researchers are working to master their complexity.

0 Comments
Speech bubble formed by a network of communication

Community Newsletter: Autism and the thalamus, recreational drug use in autistic people, new IACC members

by  /  11 July 2021

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we discuss the role of the thalamus in autism, recreational drug use by autistic people and the newest lineup of IACC members.

0 Comments
researchers analyzing a big change in a DNA helix

Evolutionary approach reveals impact of missense variants in autism

by  /  7 July 2021

Cross-species comparisons can help make sense of subtle genetic variants in people with autism and identify hundreds of new genes that may contribute to the condition.

0 Comments
large, diverse group of people.

Federal autism committee names new members

by  /  7 July 2021

The U.S. government today announced the latest iteration of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, the body of scientists and advocates that helps set priorities for federally funded autism research and services.

0 Comments