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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Today in the News (26 May 09)

Vaccines:
I guess we could only file this under the "I told you so!" department... Now how responsible will a parent feel if they didn't vaccinate due to unfounded fears, but their child DIED from a preventable disease like this? Or their neighbor's infant died, as happened in Australia?

The news is still getting google spammed with all the swine flu. Although, our understanding of genetics is helping us understand this virus more.

Evolution:
Since I did mention genetics, evolution seems the next logical topic. Scientists have discovered a fundamental mechanism on cell formation. This seems to be in a different arena and is only part of the picture from what I blogged about a couple weeks back.

There is also this book review on our human evolution and out interaction with one of our earliest "inventions": fire. I think one of the things that this book should highlight is the amazingly complex interplay between how we shape our environment as well as how our environment shapes us. No one ever said this is easy stuff!

Autism:
Adding to the confusion about autism, there is Angleman Syndrome. Not quite autism, although easily confused for part of the spectrum. This highlights that not everything is autism. Just because all you have is a hammer, everything isn't a nail. Perhaps this should also serve as a warning not to overdiagnose autism.

Scientists are reaching a concensus on how the brain handles speech. Understanding speech is seen as one of the main challenges with autism, as well as many other maladies of the brain.

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