Spotted around the web: Reading boost, regulating prenatal tests, diversity in scientific publishing

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 28 February.

Research roundup

  • Next-generation sequencing methods appear to yield more gene variants linked to neurodevelopmental conditions than does chromosomal microarray. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
  • Focusing on determinants of health in autism, rather than on biological mechanisms or clinical medicine, may better identify and address gaps in research and improve the lives of autistic people. Autism Research
  • Children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder tend to have at least one other medical, psychiatric or neurodevelopmental diagnosis, such as autism, according to a review of a Dubai mental health hospital’s records. Global Pediatric Health
  • Mice fed a high-fat diet gain weight and show behavioral changes such as repetitive behaviors and hyperactivity; metformin treatment prevents those changes and increases serotonin levels in the gut. Behavioural Neurology
  • Autistic children show altered evoked responses to sounds, which may correlate with their ability to separate distinct tones from background noise. PLOS Biology
  • Using literature as a prompt for empathic feelings, researchers found no difference between autistic and non-autistic readers. Frontiers in Psychology
  • Attending to diagnoses and creating a joint plan with children and their families may help reduce the use of seclusion to manage aggression and agitation in psychiatric inpatient settings. Journal of Affective Disorders
  • One-on-one instruction in vocabulary and reading comprehension can improve reading ability in autistic children, according to a small study. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Science and society

  • Research grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health now require investigators to include a data management and sharing plan. Nature
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is seeking authority to regulate noninvasive prenatal tests, which have been shown to frequently return false results. Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society
  • More than 50 scientific publishers intend to ask editors, authors and peer reviewers for their racial and ethnic identities, in an effort to tackle structural racism in the industry. Nature
  • A genomic study in Filipino people that included Indigenous groups and that was conducted by Swedish and Filipino scientists has caused an uproar in the Philippines for failing to get the country’s ethics approval. Undark
  • The U.S. National Institutes of Health new data management and sharing policy for grantees is now online and goes into effect 25 January 2023. National Institutes of Health
  • Cell Press journals have been asking submitting authors to share diversity and inclusion data on both authors and study participants for the past year; now they report on the response rates and early results. Last month, Spectrum reported that women are underrepresented among the editors of neuroscience journals, but not autism-specific ones. Cell Press