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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 29 July 2019

by  /  2 August 2019

July 29th

Research roundup

  • Autistic men and women both camouflage their autistic traits, but women use a wider range of strategies. Autism
  • Researchers have developed a computational model of brain activity in the visual cortex, which represents 11 distinct emotional responses to images. Science Advances
  • Researchers have detailed the molecular steps by which stem cells divide and mature into neurons during brain development. Neuron
  • The composition of a newborn mouse’s microbiome is influenced more by its genetics than by maternal factors. Applied and Environmental Microbiology
  • Autistic boys may be more likely than controls to have been exposed to high levels of estrogens in utero. Molecular Psychiatry

Science and society

  • Autistic people’s discomfort in social situations should not be misinterpreted as disinterest, two psychologists write in an opinion essay. The New York Times
  • The U.S. National Institutes of Health has issued a two-year delay on reporting requirements for basic studies of the human brain. Science
  • The Human Brain Project, funded by the European Commission, has failed to achieve its lofty goal of creating a computerized simulation of the brain. The Atlantic
  • A computer algorithm can identify 99 percent of Americans from supposedly anonymized data. The New York Times
  • Several American research institutions are trying to replicate a successful program at the University of Maryland – Baltimore County that is designed to promote young scientists from underrepresented groups. Science
  • After a 10-year-old autistic boy in Derby in the United Kingdom reported being bullied by his peers, a teaching assistant forced him to listen to and write down their complaints about his traits. The Guardian
  • Despite three years of promises, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is yet to approve new suppliers of marijuana for research use. STAT
  • Scientists in the U.S. have used the gene-editing tool CRISPR therapeutically for the first time, to treat sickle cell anemia. NPR
  • Chinese scientists meanwhile have been using CRISPR to produce animal models of disease, organs for human transplantation and improved livestock. Science
  • Researchers from 19 institutions are developing a ‘Google’ of integrated biomedical data, intended to help scientists derive knowledge from previously collected results. STAT

Autism and the arts

  • Focus, the hero of a new comic book, has an awesome superpower: autism. ABC15
  • Three animated shorts by and about autistic adults, which have screened in the U.K. and the U.S., are now available on YouTube. Canadian Inquirer


  • Only 12 percent of journals that require authors to disclose conflicts of interest require the same of their editorial staff. Science