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Spectrum: Autism Research News



From parental age to infection during pregnancy, environmental elements can influence autism risk.

October 2015

Immune molecule does double duty as social manager

by  /  18 October 2015

An immune molecule that helps defend people from infection with viruses or bacteria may also keep brain activity in check, allowing people to be social.


Immune disorders during pregnancy boost autism risk in children

by  /  8 October 2015

Women who have lupus are roughly twice as likely as women without an immune disorder to have a child with autism.


Twin study unearths clues to role of environment in autism

by  /  8 October 2015

Researchers in Sweden are assembling a large group of identical twin pairs, with only one twin in each pair having autism.

August 2015

Autism may arise from brain’s response to early disturbances

by  /  18 August 2015

Autism is not a developmental disorder, but rather the brain’s adaptive response to early genetic or environmental disturbances, says Mark Johnson.


U.S. revives failed autism study amid lingering skepticism

by  /  17 August 2015

The National Institutes of Health is reviving a defunct study that aimed to identify environmental risk factors for autism and other childhood disorders. Some researchers say the do-over is unlikely to live up to the original project’s promise.


Sibling study questions cesarean section link to autism

by  /  4 August 2015

Contrary to previous findings, children born by cesarean section are not at an increased risk of autism, says a Swedish sibling study.

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Control centers for genes rife with autism-linked DNA blips

by  /  3 August 2015

DNA sequences called enhancers — which boost the expression of genes from within or outside them — are enriched for genetic variants linked to autism, suggests a new study. The finding may help researchers understand how variants outside genes contribute to autism.

July 2015

Marmosets that miss social cues may mimic autism

by  /  29 July 2015

Marmosets exposed to an epilepsy drug in the womb do not recognize reciprocity — the social give-and-take that is a challenge for some people with autism — suggests a new study. The findings add to mounting evidence that these tiny monkeys offer clues about autism.


New method vets quality of antibodies for experimental use

by  /  15 July 2015

Researchers have devised a reliable technique for evaluating how well antibodies home in on specific molecules in scientific experiments. The new approach could take some of the guesswork out of studies that use antibodies to label and isolate proteins.


Obesity during pregnancy may not boost child’s autism risk

by  /  10 July 2015

Women who are overweight while pregnant have an increased risk of having a child with autism. But a new study suggests that genetics, not the obesity per se, underlies the association.

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