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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 5 August 2019

by  /  9 August 2019

August 5th

Research roundup

  • Stem-cell-derived neurons from autistic people differ from those from people with schizophrenia by their gene expression and calcium-signaling patterns. Translational Psychiatry
  • As babies, autistic children pay more attention to fearful faces than typical children do. Emotion
  • When clinical trials of potential psychiatric therapies reveal little change in primary endpoints, researchers often spin the results. BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine
  • A small study finds promising results for a video-based diagnostic tool for autism in 12- and 18-month-old children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
  • Immigrant women in France report more early signs of neurodevelopmental conditions in their children than non-immigrant women do. Autism Research

Science and society

  • Following the lead of Francis Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Joshua Gordon, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, has pledged to speak at events only if diversity and inclusivity are evident in the agenda. National Institute of Mental Health
  • Facebook is funding research on wearable devices that decode people’s thoughts from their brain activity. MIT Technology Review
  • Teaching people to be less judgmental about parenting would benefit all families, particularly those that have an autistic child, a writer with an autistic son advises. HuffPost
  • Interior-design features such as cozy nooks, multiple entrances and strategically placed windows can make schools friendlier for autistic children. The Conversation
  • Families in Buffalo, New York, are pushing to change laws to allow street signs with ‘child with autism’ warnings. The Buffalo News
  • A new way to tackle vaccine hesitancy: Vaccination counselors in Quebec maternity wards talk to new parents in a nonjudgmental way. STAT
  • The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, which advised “Sesame Street” on creating the autistic character Julia, has ended the partnership after the TV show began producing public service announcements with disease-oriented language. Autistic Self Advocacy Network
  • Researchers have found a set of gene variants linked to severity of post-traumatic stress disorder in U.S. military veterans. The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is seeking expert advice on how to regulate clinical trials that charge people a fee to participate. STAT
  • A New York City councilperson has proposed moving special-education services from the city’s education department to its health department because mismanagement of the program has spurred thousands of complaints. Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Autism and the arts

  • An autistic artist in North Carolina has created a suite of cartoon characters called Imagifriends that promote tolerance and kindness. WRAL


  • After negotiations between Elsevier and the University of California library system over journal access stalled in February, several prominent faculty are threatening to resign from the publisher’s editorial boards. Berkeley News