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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Spotted A roundup of autism papers and media mentions you may have missed.

Spotted around the web: Week of 26 August 2019

by  /  30 August 2019

August 26th

Research roundup

  • Lack of awareness, inadequate healthcare and stigma all contribute to large gaps in the diagnosis and treatment of autism in Nigeria. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
  • Social cognition, such as recognizing emotions in others, makes a small but measurable contribution to social and daily living skills in autistic adults. Autism Research
  • Three children with duplicated or deleted copies of the gene CNTN4 show language and cognitive delay but are not autistic. European Journal of Medical Genetics
  • People in Finland who receive a psychiatric diagnosis before age 25 have markedly low earnings, a result of high rates of unemployment and lack of higher education. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
  • A comparison of mouse and human cells in a brain region called the medial temporal gyrus revealed both highly conserved and vastly divergent features. Nature
  • The rise in vaccine exemptions in Texas could lead to more than 400 measles cases in metropolitan areas, according to a simulation. JAMA Network Open
  • A genetic variant linked to autism and intellectual disability induces thinning of a fatty substance called myelin that surrounds nerves in rat brains. Nature Communications
  • New mothers who used a smartphone app that encouraged them to consider their babies’ emotions and mental states were more attuned to their children at 6 months of age than were mothers who did not use the app. PLOS One
  • Brain cells called glia that support neurons help set the stage for seizures in a zebrafish model of epilepsy. Nature Communications
  • Autistic adults form negative impressions of others with autism traits but show less bias against them than neurotypical adults do. Autism in Adulthood

Science and society

  • Gene expression in human neurons is markedly different than in mouse neurons, perhaps explaining why animal models of brain conditions often translate poorly to human conditions. STAT
  • In controversial studies, scientists seek to understand how microbial exposure during birth affects health by swabbing newborns born by cesarean section with their mother’s vaginal bacteria. Nature
  • U.S. scientists are using CRISPR to edit genes in human sperm. NPR
  • The Trump administration is considering a project that uses volunteers to identify early signs of violent behavior, as a way to reduce gun violence. The Washington Post
  • Sharing mental health struggles on social media can help people find support, although it is no substitute for treatment. Kaiser Health News
  • Autism can be diagnosed reliably at 18 months, new data suggest. Harvard Health Blog
  • A Detroit, Michigan, yacht club invites autistic people to join crews and learn to sail at an annual event. Click On Detroit
  • Public-health advocates realize they are battling vaccine hesitancy more than measles. The New Yorker

Autism and the arts

  • An autistic artist in Colorado Springs, Colorado, makes a living by painting murals and custom sneakers. KRDO


  • The publisher Wiley has a new infographic about how to choose the right journal for your research paper. Wiley

TAGS:   autism