Author

Nicholette Zeliadt

News Writer, Spectrum

Nicholette Zeliadt writes for Spectrum and reports on breaking autism research news from conferences around the world.

Nicholette covers all aspects of autism research, but her primary beat is epidemiology. Before joining Spectrum in 2014, Nicholette was a freelance reporter for Scientific American and The Scientist. She also worked for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, where she summarized studies and interviewed scientists for podcasts and profiles.

Nicholette has a Ph.D. in environmental health from the University of Minnesota.

February 2017
Blue zones: Surface area measurements (blue) in certain areas of the brains of 6-month-old babies can distinguish children with autism from those without the condition.
News

Rapid brain growth in infancy may signal autism

by  /  15 February 2017

The faster the brains of children with autism grow in their first year of life, the more severe their autism features are likely to be at age 2.

0 Comments
Photography by Vanessa McKeown
Opinion / Q&A

Questions for Gahan Pandina: New tool may aid autism trials

by  /  14 February 2017

A new ‘knowledge engine’ collects reams of behavioral and sensory data to create highly sensitive outcome measures for autism drugs.

0 Comments
AP Images
News

Pick for U.S. education secretary rankles autism community

by  /  7 February 2017

Autism researchers and advocates alike are sounding the alarm about Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. secretary of education.

2 Comments
Polar opposites: Some brain waves in people with autism grow weaker (red) or stronger (blue) with age, whereas controls show the opposite trends.
News

Autism may alter how brain waves change with age

by  /  6 February 2017

The strength and synchrony of brain waves appear to evolve differently in children with autism than in their neurotypical peers.

0 Comments
Illustration by Lucy Reading-Ikkanda
News

New autism diagnoses shifting toward mild end of spectrum

by  /  2 February 2017

Although the number of people diagnosed with autism is on the rise, the proportion with severe features has dropped since 2000.

2 Comments
January 2017
20170127-RettUpdate844
News

Sound processing skewed in mouse model of Rett syndrome

by  /  27 January 2017

Researchers have traced an unusual maternal behavior in female mice modeling Rett syndrome to a neural circuit that processes sound. They have also found a drug that reverses this behavior.

3 Comments
Remodeled matrix: A network of immune system genes may be overactive in the brains of people with autism.
News

Diverse causes of autism converge on common gene signature

by  /  23 January 2017

The brains of people with autism show a distinct molecular signature that reflects alterations in how genes are pieced together and expressed.

0 Comments
Illustration by Pep Boatella
Opinion / Q&A

Questions for Pua, Seal: What’s wrong with brain imaging work?

by  /  17 January 2017

Despite the completion of hundreds of imaging studies in people with autism, researchers have yet to find features that distinguish people with the condition.

0 Comments
Pep Boatella
News

Experimental autism treatments put to test in real world

by  /  16 January 2017

Researchers are modifying autism therapies for the various communities tasked with implementing them — a move they hope will make treatments more effective for and accessible to all children.

2 Comments
Air supply: Some newborns exposed to their own feces in the womb require oxygen and intravenous fluids. Reynardt / iStock
News

Exposure to feces in womb tied to autism risk

by  /  16 January 2017

Babies who have their first bowel movement before birth have a slightly increased risk of autism, according to a study of nearly 10 million people.

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