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Difficulties with pregnancy, labor may raise child’s autism risk

by  /  23 March 2017

A large study finds that certain health complications during pregnancy or delivery increase the chances of having a child with autism by 26 percent or more.

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Species shift: Bacteria of the genus Bifidobacterium become more abundant in the gut of children who receive a microbial transplant.
Scimat / Science Source

Microbial transplant may treat gut, social problems

by  /  22 March 2017
Replacing the microbes that inhabit the gut may ease digestive troubles and social difficulties in children with autism.
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Illustration by Michela Buttignol

‘Triple-hit’ study may help explain autism’s male bias

by  /  20 March 2017
The absence of an autism-linked gene, combined with exposure to a mock infection, produces social deficits in mice — but only in males.
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Shared shyness: Social difficulties in children with autism can resemble social withdrawal, a feature of schizophrenia. Jonas Hafner / Getty Images

DNA deletion sparks separate outcomes of autism, schizophrenia

by  /  16 March 2017
In children with a deletion on chromosome 22, having autism does not boost the risk of developing schizophrenia later in life.

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Senate Judiciary Committee member Senator John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, center, talks with Committee Chairman Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, right, and Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., 21 March 2017.  Pablo Martinez Monsivais  / AP Photo
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U.S. government plans to probe orphan drug program

by ,  /  23 March 2017

Acting on a request from three influential U.S. senators, the government’s accountability arm confirmed that it will investigate potential abuses of the Orphan Drug Act.

Copies of President Trump's America First budget at the U.S. Government Printing Office bookstore in Washington, D.C., 16 March 2017. Shawn Thew / Newscom
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Proposed cuts to funds for U.S. biomedical research shock scientists

by ,  /  22 March 2017

President Trump’s spending plan — running into opposition from Republicans and Democrats alike — would cut about 20 percent of the roughly $30 billion budget of the U.S. medical research agency.

GerMan101 / iStock
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Three women blinded by experimental stem-cell treatment

by ,  /  16 March 2017

Two of the women mistakenly thought they were participating in a clinical trial, as the procedure was advertised on a government-run clinical trial website.

Scott Gottlieb, left, and Safeway Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Byrd, listen to testimony on Capitol Hill in  2009, during the Senate Health Committee's healthcare roundtable. Harry Hamburg / AP Photo
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Trump’s choice to run food and drug agency has pharma connections

by ,  /  16 March 2017

Scott Gottlieb, nominated to lead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has deep ties to industry, and has worn many other hats in his career.

Pair bonding: Babies with Prader-Willi syndrome who receive oxytocin show improved interactions with their mothers.Monashee Alonso / Getty Images
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Oxytocin boosts social skills in autism-related syndrome

by  /  15 March 2017

One week of treatment with the hormone oxytocin improves social skills and feeding in infants with Prader-Willi syndrome.

nzphotonz / iStock
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Virtual doctor visits may not reduce healthcare spending

by ,  /  13 March 2017

Telehealth services may boost access to care, but they don’t save money, according to a new study.

Expression bias: Some neurons express the mutated copy of a gene more than the typical copy.
News

Parental origin may alter gene copies’ expression in brain

by  /  13 March 2017

Some neurons preferentially express the copy of a gene inherited from one parent over the other.

Illustration by Pep Boatella
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Autism experts see benefits to tweaking drug approval process

by  /  13 March 2017

Many researchers oppose unfettered deregulation of the drug approval process, but welcome more relaxed rules for clinical trials.

Eugene_Axe / iStock
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Senators call for investigation into possible abuses of Orphan Drug Act

by , ,  /  8 March 2017

Building on weeks of mounting pressure to address high prescription drug prices, three influential U.S. senators have asked the government’s accountability arm to probe the orphan drug program for potential misuse.

Illustration by Jasu Hu
News

Pain, impulsivity may motivate self-harm in autism

by  /  8 March 2017

People with autism who have painful digestive issues or difficulties inhibiting their impulses are particularly prone to hurting themselves.

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