Sex

Photograph of a family of rhesus macaque monkeys.
Spectrum Microphone

Father’s genes may drive sociability in male monkeys

The findings in rhesus macaque monkeys may provide clues to sex differences in the heredity of social behavior in people.

By Charles Q. Choi
18 August 2023 | 3 min read
Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results.

The true meaning of a null result

This edition of Null and Noteworthy highlights results that reveal the difficulty in drawing definitive conclusions from data, including new findings about epidurals that contradict several others and an apparent null result on sex differences that may derive from “circular logic.”

By Laura Dattaro
14 August 2023 | 4 min read
Position heatmaps of mice performing a behavioral assay.

New test taps nose pokes as a proxy for social motivation in mice

Over one hour, a particularly motivated mouse poked its nose 350 times into a hole in the test chamber in the hopes of meeting a playmate.

By Holly Barker
10 August 2023 | 5 min read
Blurry photograph of a crowd of people on a street.

Some who lack autism diagnosis carry variants tied to the condition

The variants are associated with slight differences in measures of intelligence, income and employment, but the relationship may not be causal.

By Charles Q. Choi
13 July 2023 | 4 min read
A man looks out the window

New estimate suggests most autistic adults in England lack a formal diagnosis

The finding underscores a need for adult autism diagnostic services.

By Emmet Fraizer
9 June 2023 | 2 min read
Illustration of a brain.

Cortical differences in autism vary by sex

Compared with their non-autistic peers, young autistic girls have a thicker cortex that thins more quickly with age.

By Giorgia Guglielmi
4 May 2023 | 2 min read
Illustration of a diverse group of bodies floating in space.
Spectrum Microphone

New measure characterizes gender diversity in study participants

The Gender Self-Report could help autism researchers include more gender-diverse people across a range of ages and neurotypes in their work.

By Emmet Fraizer
12 April 2023 | 5 min read
Research image of the posterior insular cortex.

Maternal immune response dulls male rats’ social radar

Male rats prenatally exposed to a maternal immune response have atypical responses to other rats in distress, according to a new study.

By Angie Voyles Askham
27 March 2023 | 5 min listen
A young woman sits alone in a doctor’s office.
Spectrum Microphone

How scientists can counteract their unwitting contributions to autism’s sex bias

Common diagnostic and research practices may be adding to autism’s sex bias, but there are some simple steps scientists can take to counteract it.

By Anila D’Mello
20 December 2022 | 7 min read
Figure showing an analysis of gene expression in cells across development.

Highly expressed genes may buffer against autism-linked mutations in girls

Such high expression levels may account for the condition’s sex bias, a new preprint suggests — but not everyone agrees with that logic.

By Alla Katsnelson
14 December 2022 | 5 min read

Explore more from The Transmitter

Brain organoids overgrowth; DSCAM gene; sleep issues in autism

Here is a roundup of autism-related news and research spotted around the web for the week of 24 June.

By Jill Adams
25 June 2024 | 2 min read
Close-up image of a dead fly with visible growths protruding from its abdomen due to Entomophthora fungus infection.

Mind control in zombie flies: Q&A with Carolyn Elya

A parasitic fungus compels its insect host to behave in strange ways by hijacking secretory neurons and circadian pathways.

By Shaena Montanari
25 June 2024 | 5 min read
Illustration of a canyon landscape with an orange clock face in place of a sun.

How to teach this paper: ‘Behavioral time scale synaptic plasticity underlies CA1 place fields,’ by Bittner and Milstein et al. (2017)

Katie Bittner, Aaron Milstein and their colleagues found that cellular learning can happen over longer timescales than Hebb’s rule predicts. How long should we wait to teach students about this phenomenon?

By Ashley Juavinett
24 June 2024 | 11 min read