Post-apocalyptic stories usually feature a certain type of character—someone who fits in with survivalist tropes. We never want to think about how people with various disabilities will do after the end of civilization. But in the new book On the Edge of Gone, Corinne Duyvis chose to put an autistic character in the…
Researchers in China have genetically engineered monkeys to exhibit autistic-like behaviors, including impaired social skills and increased anxiety. This research is poised to improve our understanding of brain disorders, but ethicists say the harm endured by these monkeys is simply not worth it.
The most prominent sperm bank in the UK is under investigation after turning away donors with dyslexia and other questionable characteristics. This raises an important question: Should sperm banks be in the business of making “better” babies?
A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that women who take antidepressants during the mid-to-late stages of their pregnancy experience an 87% increased risk of having a child diagnosed with autism. Here’s what the study actually found and why there’s no immediate cause for…
The definition of autism is getting increasingly broader. As a result, we are building a new reality of the disorder that doesn’t accurately represent the most affected population.
An epidemic. A vaccine-induced scourge. A curse. Or: The reason Steve Jobs was so focused. The thing Bill Gates had that helped him get rich.
An interesting new study was recently published in the British Medical Journal about the ‘autism epidemic’ we have been experiencing in recent years (1). The Swedish authors of the study used data from children born between 1993 and 2002 to compare time trends in the rates of the autism symptom phenotype (i.e. the…
Public opinion has turned, sharply and loudly, in favor of supporting vaccines. Yay! It took an outbreak of measles at Disneyland for it to happen. Boo! (Your grandmother might have survived her measles, but for others it can be fatal.)
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…
Ever had trouble getting the audio synced up with the video on your computer? Get the right kink in your brain, and you could live your whole life that way.
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…
Autism is a spectrum disorder, encompassing a wide range of conditions, symptoms, and experiences. But this short animation may help you understand, and empathize with, certain specific sensory and perception differences that some people with autism experience.
This is the most cynical, horrifying thing I've heard in ages. PETA has restarted a campaign to try and pretend there's some link between "autism and dairy products," in an attempt to scare people into going Vegan. Update: We have a response from PETA.
A meta-analysis including nearly 1.3 million children posted online last week in the journal Vaccine has demonstrated, once again, that there's no causal link between vaccines and autism.
Here for spreading far and wide is (another) graphical reminder of the important distinction between correlation and causation.
Chili's intends to donate 10% of its customers' checks on April 7th to the National Autism Association, in honor of National Autism Awareness month. The problem? The NAA claims on its website that vaccines can trigger or exacerbate autism in "some, if not many, children." Dammit not this again.
When Ron Suskind's son, Owen, was just shy of three years old, the once talkative child fell silent and turned inward. "Regressive autism," doctors told Suskind and his wife. The boy became unreachable – until one day, while watching The Little Mermaid, a glimmer of hope. Could the world of Disney serve as a portal…
Here for spreading far and wide is a graphical reminder of the important distinction between correlation and causation.
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.
Jenny McCarthy is well-known for her thoroughly debunked anti-vaccination claims. She also once claimed she was an "indigo" and her son was a "crystal" child. Those two beliefs may be connected.