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New study shows surprising cause for autism. Environmental factors play a more important role in causing autism than previously assumed and, surprisingly, an even larger role than genetics, according to a new study out of UCSF and Stanford that could force a dramatic swing in the focus of research into the developmental disorder. UCSF’s Neil Risch is quoted. San Francisco Chronicle,
Pollution can lead to brain damage and depression warn scientists. Long term exposure to air pollution could damage the brain and lead to learning and memory problems and even depression. London Daily Telegraph, United Kingdom.
Scientists seek link between climate change and extreme weather events. Scientists are to end their 20-year reluctance to link climate change with extreme weather – the heavy storms, floods and droughts which often fill news bulletins – as part of a radical departure from a previous equivocal position that many now see as increasingly untenable. London Independent, United Kingdom.
Giant turtle found dead in New South Wales having swallowed over 300 bits of plastic. A giant sea turtle has been found dead after swallowing more than 300 bits of plastic. The helpless creature starved to death because its guts were clogged with debris including bags, lids, tape and fishing line. London Sun, United Kingdom.
Storm warnings: Extreme weather is a product of climate change. Are recent extreme events such as the disaster unfolding in North Dakota examples of climate change predictions turned into cold, hard reality? Increasingly, the answer is yes. (Part 1 of 3.) Scientific American
Can TSA’s scanning machines give you cancer? Claims that the government is covering up ‘clusters’ of cancer among Transport Security Administration workers have sparked fears the agency’s airport scanning machines could pose a risk to travellers. London Daily Mail, United Kingdom.
Scientists to chemical regulators: Stop ignoring boobs. The last quarter of a century has taught science some newfangled things about breasts. For one thing, they appear to be showing up earlier in young girls, with possible consequences for breast cancer later on. Slate
Pesticides ‘could cause Parkinson’s by stopping key protein cleaning up cell damage.’ Scientists have shed new light on a link between Parkinson’s disease and two pesticides, which they hope will improve both prevention and treatment for the neurodegenerative disease. London Daily Mail, United Kingdom.
Surprising causes of male infertility. On average, the typical man makes about 1,000 sperm every heartbeat. Yet a number of lifestyle choices, environmental factors and chance events can sabotage the sperm. Wall Street Journal
French-German E. coli link seen in seed sprouts. Dutch and British health officials advised people to avoid raw sprouts and seeds on Monday after scientists linked an outbreak of E. coli in France to a highly toxic one in Germany that has killed 43 people. Reuters
Diabetes becoming alarmingly common worldwide, new study finds. Nearly 10 percent of the world’s adults have diabetes, and the prevalence of the disease is rising rapidly. That’s the sobering conclusion of a study published Saturday in the journal Lancet that traces trends in diabetes over the past three decades. Washington Post [Registration Required]