Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results.

Null and Noteworthy: COVID-19 conclusions; diagnosis duplication; oxytocin again

This month’s newsletter explores the pandemic’s effects on autism rates, trends in co-occurring mental health conditions, and the impact of intranasal oxytocin.

By Emily Harris
10 November 2022 | 5 min read
A grid of four figures. The top left and bottom left figures are duplicates, with the bottom inverted by 180 degrees
Spectrum Microphone

Data irregularities surface for study of microRNAs in autism

The study, which investigated a microRNA’s links to autism, appears to contain duplicated and fabricated data, according to research integrity analysts. Those issues reflect a larger problem in the literature.

By Emily Harris
15 June 2022 | 6 min read

Method may improve safety of gene therapies targeting the brain

A new approach for delivering gene therapy to the brain reduces nerve damage in primates and could help make gene therapies for conditions related to autism safer.

By Chloe Williams
28 January 2021 | 3 min read
medical personnel with a swab test in a vial.

Doubts precede saliva test for autism, set to be available by July

A saliva test that helps clinicians diagnose autism is expected to be available in the next few weeks. But some experts are skeptical of the test's accuracy and value.

By Hannah Furfaro
19 June 2019 | 6 min read
Neurons glow green in a mouse brain.

New tool triggers gene expression in select neurons in rodents

Injecting a virus toting snippets of RNA into the rodent brain enables researchers to express genes in specific neuron types.

By Maris Fessenden
31 August 2018 | 2 min read
By staining the nuclei from all cells blue (left) and those from neurons red (middle), researchers can isolate the resulting purple nuclei from neurons (right).

Chemical tags on genomes in neurons altered in autism brains

Neurons from people with autism may have an unusual pattern of chemical tags that turn genes on and off.

By Nicholette Zeliadt
31 January 2018 | 4 min read

Genome’s ‘dark’ side steps into spotlight of autism research

RNA segments that control when and where genes are expressed may be involved in autism.

By Nicholette Zeliadt
27 June 2017 | 6 min read

Micro-molecules may loom large in autism

The brains of people with autism contain unusual amounts of short regulatory RNAs.

By Nicholette Zeliadt
17 October 2016 | 4 min read

Brexit break-ups; little impact; micro medicine

Scientists are excluding U.K. colleagues from studies; a life sciences publisher abandons the ‘impact factor;’ and a new open-access journal makes its debut.

By Robin Lloyd
15 July 2016 | 5 min read

CRISPR chronicles; microbiome muddle; love on the spectrum

The fight over who holds the rights to CRISPR is heating up, we control our gut bacteria, and romance isn’t always easy when you have autism.

By Katie Moisse
15 January 2016 | 4 min read

Explore more from The Transmitter

Brain organoid size matches intensity of social problems in autistic people

Overgrown organoids could point to mechanisms underlying profound autism.

By Holly Barker
18 July 2024 | 5 min read

Persistent protein pairing enables memories to last

The complex of two memory proteins, rather than the individual molecules acting independently, underlie month-long memories in mice, a new study suggests.

By Elissa Welle
17 July 2024 | 5 min read
A digitally distorted image of a file folder against a blue gradient background.

Data access changes to UK Biobank stir unease in neuroscientists

“I feel a little bit in limbo,” says neuroscientist Stephanie Noble, who has paused a study using Biobank data after the repository shifted from a data download to a cloud-only access model.

By Calli McMurray
16 July 2024 | 7 min read