Possible Link Between Autism And Oxytocin Gene Via Non-DNA Sequence Mutation Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have uncovered a new genetic signature that correlates strongly with autism and which doesn't involve changes to the DNA sequence itself. Rather, the changes are in the way the genes are turned on and off. The finding may suggest new approaches to diagnosis and treatment of autism.
A Catalogue of Extinct Experience: Renewing Our Disappearing Connections to Nature | Worldchanging Our experiences shape our consciousness: who we are, who we become, the choices we make about how we spend our lives. But our range of experiences — from drinking from a clean, clear Sierra stream to beholding a star-filled night sky — is diminishing. With the disappearance of unmediated experiences in nature, the opportunity to know what it means to be human in the world is compromised and our awareness of the fundamental truth of the interdependent and interconnnected nature of our existence becomes more and more attenuated. This obscured perception has personal, social and global consequences.
Gwynne Dyer's Climate Wars: Now a Radio Series The security dimensions of climate change provide the backdrop for Dyer's Climate Wars, an unflinching look at potential geopolitical consequences of rising seas and falling water and food supplies. The core text is interspersed with scenarios from the future about tensions evolving into conflicts. Reads near-apocalyptically in places, but gets realpolitik-oriented readers to take the climate issue seriously.
7 Secrets to Raising a Happy Child | Zen Habits Nature and nurture are in a never ending battle to claim the disposition of our children. While it's true that the apple rarely tumbles too far from the tree, it is also true that there are a multitude of things we as parents can do to safeguard the childhoods of our children, limit their exposure to the more damaging elements the world will see fit to introduce in time, and do our best to raise a healthy and happy child.
The search for ET just got easier Astronomers using the Science and Technology Facilities Council's (STFC) William Herschel Telescope (WHT) on La Palma have confirmed an effective way to search the atmospheres of planets for signs of life, vastly improving our chances of finding alien life outside our solar system.
The Technium: Infinite In Some Directions Where are we headed? Where does technology want to go? We frequently evaluate a questionable practice by extrapolating it into the future. If a phenomenon continues as it has been, then where does it lead? Where does the daily use of antibiotics on farms get you in 100 years? Where does hourly use of cell phones for everyone get a society in 500 years? If the technium continues another thousand years as is, is it a world we want or not? Indeed can it even continue another 1000 years as is?
Want to Avoid Traffic Jams? Study Ants. Solving the nation's transportation woes will take some big ideas, but it doesn't hurt to think "small" in this case. GOOD magazine picked the brain of Audrey Dussutour, whose countless hours of ant-studying (and even sabotaging) taught her that the tiny travelers are über-skilled when it comes to avoiding traffic jams.
Andart: Is the biosphere unsustainable? Peter Ward's The Medea Hypotehsis is interesting, disturbing and a bit annoying. Most of all, it is an antidote to naive Gaianism. Ward argues that the Earth's biosphere is not a self-regulating, self-improving or self-preserving Gaia but something more sinister: a system prone to crashes, declines and a lifespan shortened by its own activity.