23andMe Data Shows That Kind People Might Have Empathy in Their Genes

Scientists have long been interested in understanding the underpinnings of empathy. Being able to share the feelings of another person plays a critical role in our inner lives, how we behave towards others, and the way human societies function as a whole. Harnessing the power of empathy, some suggest, could go a long way toward solving problems like racism and sexism, and help us better understand non-neurotypical people. At the same time, another corner of the research world worries that constant immersion in technology is making it harder for today’s kids to empathise. Read More >>

Researchers Say They’ve Created a 90% Accurate Blood Test for Autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complicated neurological condition caused by a variety of risk factors, including our genes and environment (but no, not vaccines), that interact in ways we still understand little about. Its symptoms are varied, too—from problems with social interaction to being unable to speak or process sensations normally. This complexity extends all the way to how it’s diagnosed: Children can start to show visible signs of autism by the age of 18 months, but there is no single medical test that can diagnose it, and it often takes years to confirm a suspected case, potentially delaying treatment. Read More >>

This Teen Wanted People to Understand His Autism, So He Made a Video Game

In late 2016, Brad Hennessey made one of the toughest decisions he'd ever had to make. He took the game he'd spent two years of his life on and he trashed it. He wanted to make something different. Something that mattered. He wanted to make a game that reflected his life experience as a young man living with Autism. Read More >>

Some Bees Hate Being Around Other Stupid Bees

Scientists looking at bees for something to do have found a subset of the group that appear to hate interacting with other bees, suggesting that these unusually antisocial bees have a similar genetic profile to people who suffer from disorders on the autism spectrum. Read More >>

Scientists Are Now Using AI to Predict Autism in Infants

Despite all the headway that science has made in understanding autism in recent years, knowing which children will one day develop autism is still almost impossible to predict. Children diagnosed with autism appear to behave normally until around two, and until then there is often no indication that anything is wrong. Read More >>

Google is Hunting for an Autism Gene

Google is on a mission to pinpoint the genetic causes of autism. The company is using its cloud-based genome database, Google Genomics, to sequence genomes from 10,000 people on the autism spectrum, along with their family members. The plan is to host and index the genomes so that researchers can look for the genetic origins of the developmental disorder. Read More >>

The Heartwarming Story of an 11-Year-Old’s New Technological Friend

For most of us, Siri or Google Now (or Cortana, if you swing that way) is a minor help at best, a first-world solution to the first-world problem of not being able to text and drive. But as Judith Newman illustrates today in a heartfelt and heartwarming piece in the New York Times, Apple's digital assistant has become a lifeline for her autistic son. Read More >>

Scientists Find New Genetic Link for Autism and Schizophrenia

Despite all the years of research that have gone into them, cognitive conditions like autism and schizophrenia are still largely a mystery. Here's one nice step toward figuring them out though: Researchers from UCLA have discovered a specific genetic trait in a small community in Finland that might have some clues. Read More >>

Urville: The Booming Metropolis Inside an Autistic Artist’s Mind

Spending a decade (or two) on a project isn't uncommon amongst urban planners. Gilles Trehin is one of them. Except in Trehin's case, the project is entirely fictional, and the scale is monumental. Read More >>

Old Dads May Play a Major Role in Increasing Autism

Men can continue to reproduce late in life with little or no risk to themselves. But being an old dad might have serious repercussions for the child—a study published in the journal Nature found a that older fathers are more likely to have a kid with autism or schizophrenia because of random mutations that develop in their genes as they age. Read More >>

Busted Freezer Melts 150 Brains

A freezer malfunction at Harvard's McLean Hospital has damaged about a third of the world's biggest collection of autism brain samples, potentially setting back research by as much as a decade. Read More >>

Scientists Find First Definitive Genetic Links to Autism

Scientists have uncovered several gene mutations that sharply increase the chances of developing autism. It's the first time researchers have pinpointed a specific genetic component with the spectrum of disorders, which includes Asberger's. Read More >>

Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism, Please Vaccinate Your Children

Yet another study has found no association between vaccines and autism. Mercury, the main ingredient in vaccines suspected of causing learning disabilities, hasn't been used to preserve the medicines since 2001. And since then, the incidence of autism has still decreased. Read More >>