Community Update: COVID-19 Commentary, Cortical MAGICC, IACC Progress | Spectrum

Illustration by Laurene Boglio

Before jumping into the ‘science on social media’ pool this Sunday, happy June 19th and Happy Father’s Day to our real-life readers.

Alright, forward. A comment on a JAMA Network Open paper caused a stir on Twitter this week. The commentary was published by the Science Media Centre, a UK charity dedicated to providing the public and policy makers with evidence-based scientific information.

“Please read comments from me and others before retweeting this,” tweeted Dorothy Bishop, professor of developmental neuropsychology at the University of Oxford in the UK, offering a link to the comment and a tweet about the JAMA article stating that “infants exposed in utero to #COVID19 are almost 2 times more likely to have developmental disabilities”.

“This study provides evidence that women who tested positive for COVID-19 had babies with neurodevelopmental issues. There is no evidence that the association is causal,” Dimitrios Siassakos, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at University College London, wrote in the commentary.

When Spectrum explored this same question in a paper in March, experts told us what Bishop concluded in his comments to the charity: Neurodevelopmental measures to study whether maternal COVID in pregnancy affects offspring .

“JAMA open hunt for alternative metrics? tweeted Phillip Richmond, a scientist at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital Research Institute in Canada.

Investigators were “clear [the study] had limitations and was preliminary,” Bishop replied, but it was unclear why the newspaper not only published the article, but gave it a press release.

Brandolini’s Law in action,” tweeted Maarten van Smeden, associate professor of epidemiology at Utrecht University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

Just a quick interview note: here at Spectrum, we want to post comments faster on autism-related articles. For example, we were surprised in February when JAMA Pediatrics published a study linking autism to screen time – and we published a short essay by Kristin Sainani, associate professor of statistics at Stanford University, highlighting why it was difficult to draw conclusions from these results. If you are a researcher and see an article you would like to comment on, send your comments to [email protected].

Our preprint watch spotted a new look at cortical development at different scales in bioRxiv. The article shows how MAGICC – Multi-Scale Atlas of Gene Expression for Integrative Cortical Mapping – can connect dense expression maps, gene sets and annotationstweeted Konrad Wagstyl, honorary researcher in cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychiatry at University College London.

Wow beautifultweeted Sofie Valk, research group leader in cognitive neurogenetics at the Max Planck Institute in Sachsen, Germany.

During the first week of June, the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Autism announced its 2020 Progress Summary, featuring the “Top 20 Most Important Autism Research Papers of 2020.”

To celebrate Project AIM’s inclusion in the top 20, Micheal Sandbank, assistant professor of special education at the University of Texas at Austin who led the effort, resurrected the “how it started, how it goesmeme, tagging colleagues Kristen Bottema-Beutel, associate professor of special education at Boston College in Massachusetts, and “twitterless Tiffany Woynaroski.” Woynaroski is an assistant professor of auditory and speech sciences at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

So proud by Michael Sandbank,” Bottema-Beutel tweeted with champagne and “tada” emoticons.

A brief thread details new findings on social attention in women with autism. The article describes different patterns, including one that shows how women with autism have “their own age-related change in appearance over time, which may indicate that there is a sensitive time window for learning (some thing related to faces) that do not overlap with non-autistic women,” tweeted co-researcher Teresa Del Bianco, postdoctoral researcher in brain and cognitive development at Birkbeck, University of London in the UK.

large paper!” tweeted Clare Harrop, assistant professor of allied health sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “All the things this nerd likes :)”

Nerd minds think the same way!” Del Bianco replied

That’s it for this week’s Community Newsletter! If you have any suggestions for interesting social posts you’ve seen in autism research, feel free to email [email protected].

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