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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 6 August 2018

by  /  10 August 2018

August 6th

Research roundup

  • The FOXP2 gene is closely tied to human speech, but it doesn’t have the key role in human evolution that researchers thought. Cell
  • Autism prevalence among children born preterm is 7 percent, a meta-analysis finds. Pediatrics
  • In India, autism prevalence is similar to values reported for other countries. PLOS Medicine
  • Combining screening tools might spot children whom the standard screens for autism do not detect. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics
  • A Mandarin version of a common English-language screening tool for autism seems to be effective for early identification in China. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Common diagnostic tests for autism vary in their sensitivity, but one stands out as most sensitive in preschool children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
  • How are U.S. adolescents and young adults using online health information, and what effect does this use have on their mental health? A national survey yields some answers. Hopelab
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is more likely to occur in autistic women than in the general population, and women with PCOS are more likely to have both autism and an autistic first-born child. Translational Psychiatry
  • Children with neurodevelopmental conditions, especially if they have more than one, have a high rate of physical problems as well, including migraines, asthma and epilepsy. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • The Lancet has published an entry all about autism spectrum disorder in its “Seminar” specialty collection. The Lancet
  • People who like patterns and rules tend also to be good at math, supporting a hypothesis that autism is a supercharged version of these abilities. Scientific Reports
  • Autistic people do just fine navigating social interactions with other autistic people, in part because of their mutual acceptance of unconventional approaches. Autism
  • When children are diagnosed with autism, their mothers feel less distressed if they already have good information about what autism is. PLOS One

Science and society

  • In addition to posing a threat to public health, the efforts of anti-vaccine activists are holding vaccine science hostage. The New York Times
  • A Japanese medical school rigged many women’s test scores to be too low for admission out of a concern that women would quit working if they became pregnant. Quartz
  • Science budget cuts in Brazil are threatening international cooperation and thousands of scholarships, all detailed on Twitter at #existepesquisanobr. Twitter
  • Make a note: The psychology department at Durham University in the United Kingdom is co-hosting a conference for U.K.-based William syndrome researchers in 2019. Twitter
  • When a Ph.D. student leaves academia, that’s not a failure, it’s just another option, an op-ed writer argues. Nature
  • Personal microbiome testing isn’t quite ready for prime time. STAT
  • The founder of a U.K. charity called Sibs explains why she thinks siblings of people with disabilities are important sources of “untapped expertise.” The Guardian
  • Two neuroscience associations have published statements decrying the treatment of a Max Planck Institute neuroscientist targeted by animal rights activists. Nature
  • Legal immigrants who have accepted U.S. government assistance — including Medicaid — could be stripped of their status if a Trump administration draft plan goes into effect. The New York Times
  • People who receive food assistance through the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program would suffer harm to their health under the work requirements included in a U.S. House of Representatives bill. STAT

Autism and the arts

  • Fostering empathy in young viewers is the “heart and soul” of “Sesame Street,” and that includes treating an autistic character in ways that are free of stigma. TV Guide
  • An artist who found himself at a crossroads with a later-life diagnosis of autism made a shift from corporate to creative. Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Publishing and politics

  • Here’s a place you don’t want to turn up: on preprint publisher bioRxiv’s “wall of shame.” Medium

Job moves

  • Craig Newschaffer, founding director of the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, is stepping into the role of dean of Pennsylvania State University’s College of Health and Human Development. Pennsylvania State University

Funding news

  • The March of Dimes has abruptly revoked grants to 37 researchers, one year into a three-year grant period, and made the cancellation retroactive. Nature

TAGS:   autism