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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 9 September 2019

by  /  13 September 2019

September 9th

Research roundup

  • Depression may be associated with anxiety, sleep disorders and, to a lesser degree, several gastrointestinal diseases. Molecular Psychiatry
  • A genetic analysis of twins, in which one twin has schizophrenia, revealed differences in gene expression between the twins. Nature Communications
  • Older brothers may have a negative influence on their younger siblings’ language development. Psychological Science
  • Researchers have mapped a previously uncharted portion of the human genome, on chromosome 22, which is implicated in conditions ranging from autism to schizophrenia. Genome Research
  • Targeting neurons that suppress brain activity in the prefrontal cortex can prevent the progression of schizophrenia-like changes in a mouse model of the condition. Cell
  • The dietary supplement sarcosine might be an effective treatment for schizophrenia, according to a literature review. The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • It should be possible to simultaneously record electrical activity from every neuron in the cerebral cortex of an animal’s brain, a group of scientists argues. Neuron

Science and society

  • A scientist discusses strategies autistic people can use to avoid burnout — exhaustion from participating in a neurotypical world. Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism
  • New York state has passed new laws restricting religious and medical exemptions from vaccination for schoolchildren. Kaiser Health News
  • A pending California bill would allow medical exemptions from vaccination to be reviewed and potentially revoked. California Healthline
  • Testosterone gel did not affect empathy measures in men in a large study, challenging the ‘extreme male brain’ theory of autism. Science
  • Scientists are developing deep-learning algorithms to boost the signal-to-noise ratio in imaging living cells. STAT
  • Edith Heard, who has contributed to major advances in epigenetics, discusses the role of creativity in her work. The New York Times
  • The American Society of Human Genetics has released a position paper on sharing genetic information and privacy protections. American Society of Human Genetics
  • Purported differences between how men’s and women’s brains work do not hold up to scrutiny, writes a psychologist in a new book. Undark
  • Some pregnant women refuse ultrasound scans out of fear the scans might harm the baby — worrying physicians who say it’s important to screen for developmental issues and potential birthing problems. STAT
  • The tattoo artist and MTV star Charl Davies writes that autistic people like her face stereotyping from coworkers as well as difficulties with lights and noise in the workplace. BBC News

Autism and the arts

  • An autistic woman has written a book, “How to be Autistic,” that she hopes will help others. BBC News
  • An autistic girl in Evansville, Indiana, has written and illustrated a book about two autistic sisters. WRAL


  • A neuroscience journal has announced a new venue for publishing open-source tools and methods. eNeuro

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