Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

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

Spotted around the web: Week of 20 August 2018

by  /  24 August 2018

August 20th

Research roundup

  • This paper will be sad if you don’t read it. Autism
  • In fruit flies, eggs lacking the fragile X gene don’t finish making a set of large proteins and produce embryos with neural defects. Science
  • Antibiotic exposure in early childhood isn’t tied to autism risk. International Journal of Epidemiology
  • A plot twist: Prenatal flu vaccination mitigates social deficits and brain inflammation in a mouse model of autism. Journal of Neuroinflammation
  • Here is the current consensus, at least according to this consensus group, on repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for autism. Biological Psychiatry
  • Meanwhile, transcranial magnetic stimulation has gotten the go-ahead to be marketed as a treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder. FDA
  • A new tool allows researchers to edit DNA even where chemical tagging usually gets in the way. Nature Biotechnology
  • Researchers capture a “traveling wave of cell death” in frog eggs. Science
  • Atypical forms of the regulatory protein CPEB4 affect production of autism-linked proteins. Nature
  • A series of three chips serves as a tool for modeling the blood-brain barrier. Nature Biotechnology
  • Autistic children have trouble controlling movements required for handwriting, which can affect their classroom performance. Developmental Neuropsychology
  • Male mice carrying an autism-related variant in CHD8 show atypical behaviors, but female mice with the variant do not. Nature Neuroscience

Science and society

  • Leading empathy researcher stands accused of showing little empathy for her employees. BuzzFeed News
  • This researcher pulled off one of the biggest frauds in scientific history, leaving people doubting news of his death. Science
  • NYU School of Medicine says all enrollees will have full-tuition scholarships, a matter for rejoicing unless you just graduated from its program. NYU School of Medicine
  • Have you made a “notably innovative” contribution to psychiatric genomic research? The Sklar Innovation Award is for people like you. Twitter
  • A measles outbreak is sweeping across Europe because of a low uptake of the MMR vaccine in “pockets of hesitancy and denial.” The Guardian
  • A prominent health policy scholar committed research misconduct by plagiarizing others’ work, his university has ruled. STAT
  • Another CRISPR milestone: Researchers repair a disease-related mutation in viable human embryos. STAT
  • The FDA has approved a drug to treat seizures associated with Dravet syndrome. Medscape
  • The U.S. government is scrapping rules regulating gene therapy research; not all experts think that’s a good idea. AP News
  • Marie Curie once shared a Wikipedia page with her husband instead of having her own entry — just one reason these researchers are adding more women scientists to the online encyclopedia. Nature
  • Disability activists are challenging voters to ask U.S. political candidates about disability issues. CripTheVote


  • If you click on ‘research roundup’ links in our daily newsletters and hit a paywall, try Unpaywall, a free service that digs up legally archived versions of papers. Nature

Job moves

  • The journal e-Life is on a quest to find a new superstar editor-in-chief. e-Life
  • Are you dithering about your post-Ph.D. career options? Check out this ‘game-style’ tool for helping you land in a place that’s right for you. Science