Autism cures may be closer as focus turns to early treatment

Fresh insights into the genes that cause the neurological disorder could open new routes for the prevention and perhaps even reversal of symptoms. By  VITTORIA D’ALESSIO Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition that has been intensely investigated since the mid-20th century. It’s estimated that ASD affects around 1 in 100 children and mainly boys. Studies suggest … Read more

Europeans make love but not babies

As Europe’s population ages, understanding the causes of declining birth rates becomes more important. By  ANDREW DUNNE When demography expert Daniele Vignoli asked young couples for their thoughts about having children, a theme emerged: uncertainty about the future. In an experiment that Vignoli conducted in Italy and Norway in 2019, he showed a total of 800 … Read more

Animal heredity sheds light on survival and extinction risks

As biodiversity declines and causes reductions in the genetic variation of animals, historic genomes offer clues for conservation. By  MICHAEL ALLEN As recently as the early 1800s, thousands of Seychelles paradise flycatcher birds lived on at least five islands off the southeast coast of Africa. By the 1960s, just 28 of the winged creatures were left … Read more

New clues to age-old illnesses emerge in the gut

Links between the human intestine and diseases such as arthritis are increasingly coming to light and signal that healthy diets can help control illnesses. By  ANTHONY KING Health in body and mind may well be rooted in the gut. The trillions of bacteria, archaea, fungi and viruses in the human body – collectively called the microbiome … Read more