30 Sep '12, 1pm

When Engineers' Genes Collide via @IEEESpectrum

Psychologists have long been baffled by an apparent long-term rise in the incidence of autism, a psychological disorder that disables children and devastates their families. Some attribute the trend to changes in diagnostic practices, others to factors in the prenatal environment. But mounting evidence that genes and hormones play a role has given rise to a new theory that could have distressing implications for engineers and their spouses. Among the children of engineers, autism and related conditions are found twice as often as in the general population, according to British studies , and are unusually common even in the grandchildren of engineers. Anecdotally, hot spots of autism have been reported in major centers of engineering, including Silicon Valley; Austin, Texas; and Boston’s Route 128 technology ring. Autism is a developmental impairment affecting the ability t...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/ethics/when-engineers...

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