Autism is an elusive disorder in all respects. Symptoms and behaviors vary greatly between individuals, and even within individuals day-to-day. Theories regarding causes and cures for autism ebb and flow throughout the media, sweeping us up daily in combative swirling tides of confusion and conviction. And even the very definition of the disorder itself is often a moving target, constantly being revisited, revised and reinterpreted.
For any of those that have not yet had the opportunity to see it (and have HBO), HBO will presenting its made-for-TV biopic on Temple Grandin this evening. It's a very well-done piece, and superbly acted by Claire Danes.
A cutting-edge UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute research project, the Infant Sibling Study, is leading the way in seeking clues to the earliest behavioral manifestations of autism. This project studies the younger siblings of children already diagnosed with autism. For reasons that are not entirely clear, these children are among the most likely to be subsequently diagnosed with the condition. While the chance that a first child will have autism is about 1 in 100, the chance that a sibling of a child with autism will also have autism is as high as 1 in 5.
The month of April is National Autism Awareness month. Because this is a subject that touches many, and is frequently a topic of discussion not only on this site - but across the entire world of media and journalism – ScientificBlogging will be presenting a special series of articles focused on autism during the month of April.
We will be exploring the scientific perspective of autism: the research, the studies, the medical advancements made in its diagnosis and treatment. But we will also be presenting several articles and posts of a more personal nature. What is life like with autism, both from a parenting and a personal perspective?
An image straight out of a CGI powered sci-fi movie lit up the skies over Norway earlier today at 8:45 a.m. local time. The phenomenon appeared as a spinning spiral of white light, entered around a bright star-like object. A bright blue tail streamed from the center of the object down towards earth.
The phenomenon was visible for over two minutes, could be seen for hundreds of miles, and was witnessed by thousands of individuals. It has been dubbed “Star-Gate,” and theories of its origin range from a misfired Russian missile, a meteor fireball, northern lights, a black hole, and alien activity. The only thing that everyone agrees upon, including scientists and the military, is as of now its appearance is a mystery - and is like nothing ever seen before.
Halloween is on the horizon, and even the most analytical-minded among us can find ourselves getting pulled into stories of unexplained spooky phenomena and paranormal activity. Science
has so far been unable to unequivocally prove the existence of spooks or spirits - but by the same token, their existence hasn’t exactly been conclusively disproved by science either. In fact, in some rare instances - science and technology have actually provided us with some of the most convincing evidence to make us believe that ghosts may actually exist.