SPARK

Genome structure could be key factor in some forms of autism

Variants in DNA stretches that do not code for proteins may alter the genome’s 3D architecture, influencing the expression of distant genes linked to autism.

By Giorgia Guglielmi
28 March 2024 | 4 min read

Autism research hits the road

Some scientists are thinking creatively about how to collect data in flexible environments and meet communities where they’re at.

By Giorgia Guglielmi
8 December 2023 | 0 min watch
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
Research heatmap showing mice associating more with familiar mice than unfamiliar ones.
Spectrum Microphone

Loss of autism-linked gene dampens social interactions in animals

Mice and zebrafish missing the GIGYF1 gene show social traits reminiscent of autism, though the molecular underpinnings are unclear.

By Holly Barker
28 April 2023 | 4 min read
Headshot of Wendy Chung.

Simons Foundation clinical research head Wendy Chung to lead Boston Children’s pediatrics department

Chung, a clinical and molecular geneticist, plans to continue serving as principal investigator of two large research projects involving cohorts of people with autism and related neurodevelopmental conditions.

By Jef Akst
14 February 2023 | 5 min read
A woman sits and works at a laptop while her daughter sits next to her and looks out of a glass door.

New tool aims to capture full breadth of repetitive behaviors

The measure breaks the behaviors down into eight distinct subdomains — categorization that could prove useful for clinical trials, its creator says.

By Laura Dattaro
13 January 2023 | 5 min read
Illustration of an X chromosome against a black background.

X-chromosome variants help explain autism’s sex bias

The rare variants are also linked to ADHD and Tourette syndrome, two other conditions that disproportionately affect boys and men.

By Charles Q. Choi
24 October 2022 | 4 min read
A patient sits in the waiting room of a doctor's office.

Autism diagnosis in adulthood tied to increased burden of psychiatric conditions

Mood, anxiety, personality and eating disorders more commonly affect autistic people diagnosed in adulthood than those diagnosed in childhood.

By Charles Q. Choi
19 September 2022 | 4 min read
Young woman sitting alone at window in the shadows.

Autistic LGBTQ+ people report frequent mental health problems

The co-occurring conditions may stem from the heightened stress people in minority communities experience.

By Niko McCarty
16 May 2022 | 2 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