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Spectrum: Autism Research News


April 2018
four scientists standing on colorful tile

CRISPR goes wild, and scientists debate its fidelity

by  /  30 April 2018

The gene-editing tool CRISPR may cause thousands of off-target mutations, but critics say it’s way too soon to accuse it of infidelity.

A cancer drug boosts levels of a key protein (red) in mice lacking SHANK3.

Cancer drug shows promise for treating some forms of autism

by  /  2 April 2018

A low dose of a drug used to treat lymphoma may ease social problems in some forms of autism.

March 2018

Explaining ‘resilience’ in autism may seed new therapies

by  /  27 March 2018

Some individuals who have autism mutations show no signs of the condition; understanding why may lead to treatments.

Mouse in a lab or maze hops around sniffing here and there

Why studying autism in mice may be doomed to fail

by  /  21 March 2018

After more than a decade of effort, scientists are questioning whether mouse models of autism can ever capture the social deficits seen in people with the condition.

January 2018
Week of JanuaryJan

Pollutant surprise; monkey clones; researchers rattled and more

by  /  26 January 2018

Researchers find a surprising link between certain pollutants and reduced autism risk, the world welcomes — and fears — the first primate clones, and new U.S. clinical trial rules reverberate globally.

November 2017
Movement maps of children with Phelan-McDermid syndrome

Drug improves gait in children with Phelan-McDermid syndrome

by  /  12 November 2017

A new measure of motor skills suggests that insulin-like growth factor 1 improves movement in people with Phelan-McDermid syndrome.

large adult hands holding small children's hands

Soothing sensory sensitivity may ease social problems in mice

by  /  12 November 2017

A treatment delivered to neurons that mediate touch can ease anxiety and social problems in two mouse models of autism.

Zebrafish form large groups, called shoals,

SHANK3 zebrafish may be too cool for schools

by  /  12 November 2017

Zebrafish lacking the autism-linked gene SHANK3 show little social interest and other behavioral abnormalities.

October 2017
Julio Resto, lead caretaker on Cayo Santiago, dumps a bag of monkey chow. The storm leveled feeding corrals on the island.

Researchers rally to save monkeys on hurricane-ravaged island

by  /  5 October 2017

Hurricane Maria pummeled Cayo Santiago, home to more than 1,500 rhesus macaques, including some used for autism research.

September 2017
Macaque monkey in the wild

Monkey model reveals new role for top autism gene

by  /  11 September 2017

Monkeys missing the gene SHANK3 have too few neurons in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region involved in planning and social behavior.

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