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OPINION

Opinion / Q&A

Beyond the bench: A conversation with Mayada Elsabbagh

by  /  13 October 2021

Mayada Elsabbagh talks about her “neurotic scheduling” (and its limits), why she is not active on social media, and her lab’s cookie time.

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Opinion / Viewpoint
Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus particle in pink and purple on deep blue background..

How to protect vulnerable autistic adults during the coronavirus pandemic

by  /  29 September 2021
Autistic adults are especially prone to contracting COVID-19 and to having complications from it. We need mitigation strategies and vaccination policies to better protect them.
Opinion / Viewpoint

Validating autism subtypes: A crucial but often overlooked step in research

by ,  /  31 August 2021
Studies of autism subtypes rarely validate their results, and this has led to a proliferation of autism subtypes of questionable utility. But reliable subtyping can help improve the prognosis for and care of autistic people.
Opinion / Viewpoint
Illustration shows a woman thinking as she is surrounded by signs with feelings on them and question marks.

Measuring alexithymia in autistic people

by ,  /  24 August 2021
Despite the growing interest in alexithymia in autism research, the tools commonly used to measure this trait may not work reliably in autistic populations. A new scoring method fills that gap.

Latest Opinion

Opinion / Q&A

Q&A with W. David Lohr: Antipsychotics, polypharmacy among autistic preschoolers

by  /  21 September 2021

Hundreds of preschool-aged children in Kentucky began taking antipsychotic medicines in 2012, according to an analysis of Medicaid records. Lohr discusses what it will it take to get them behavioral therapies instead.

Illustration of large microscope with spotlight on DNA strand representing focus on basic research leaving families in the twilight waiting room.
Opinion / Viewpoint

Autism research continues to stress basic science over improving interventions

by  /  14 September 2021

For 40 years, the preponderance of autism research has focused on understanding the causes and characteristics of the condition rather than testing assessments or interventions in community settings.

Scientist Ethan Scott takes aim with a bow and arrow in his backyard.
Opinion / Q&A

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Ethan Scott

by  /  13 September 2021

Ethan Scott packs his lab with math, physics and computer science experts to decode sensory brain networks in zebrafish models of autism.

Steve Warren
Opinion / Viewpoint

Remembering Steve Warren (1953-2021): A giant in the field of genetics

by , , ,  /  6 September 2021

Steve Warren co-discovered the genetic mechanism that underpins fragile X syndrome and was a generous, inspiring mentor to many.

Young patient speaking to counselor.
Opinion / Q&A

Q&A with Brenda Finucane: Building pipelines for genetic tests for autism

by  /  17 August 2021

Most autistic people do not receive the medically recommended genetic tests for autism. Brenda Finucane and her colleagues want to change that.

Holly Stessman standing in her garden looking up and holding her two chickens.
Opinion / Q&A

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Holly Stessman

by  /  13 August 2021

When Holly Stessman isn’t probing autism genes, she is tending to her flock of chickens or seeking out the next great sci-fi movie.

Colorful illustration of child's brain with electrodes connected EEG wave patterns, DNA strand, and playing siblings.
Opinion / Viewpoint

Connecting autism-linked genetic variation to infant social behavior

by ,  /  10 August 2021

Integrating genetic analyses into studies of babies’ brain development could help us understand how autism-related genes contribute to autism traits.

Image shows two young girls, identical twins, covering their faces with leaves while facing each other.
Opinion / Q&A

Q&A with John Constantino: Solving the biomarker conundrum

by  /  3 August 2021

Biological factors that reflect autism’s roots may differ from those that influence how severe the condition is. Failure to make a distinction has stymied the search for biomarkers.

Ofer Yizhar in his lab, framed by rectangular window and a red background.
Opinion / Q&A

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Ofer Yizhar

by  /  26 July 2021

When Yizhar isn’t building new tools to study the neural circuits underlying autism and other complex conditions, you can find him playing the piano, shooting photographs or taking long runs in the desert.

Illustration shows mouse with colorful wires attached, interacting with another mouse.
Opinion / Viewpoint

How to avoid common pitfalls when parsing circuit control of social behavior

by  /  20 July 2021

When probing the circuits underlying social behavior in animal models of autism, researchers should consider potentially confounding variables, use multiple behavioral assays and report results in a descriptive and unbiased manner.

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