Sunday, November 27, 2016

Autism and Exposure to Excess Ionizing Radiation: Is There a Link?

A number of you have asked about the reaction to my paper on autism and ionizing radiation delivered at an international conference on autism in Cyprus:

My paper argued for a systemic approach to understanding autism that deconstructed the idea that the body is separate from its environment:

The paper argued that findings on genetics that have dominated research into autism have revealed no universally detectable alleles or mutations, although children with autism have been discovered to have more micro-errors in their genomes, such as single base deletions and other transcription errors, than their parents or unaffected siblings.

So, a genome with more errors is one predictor of autism, and probably a range of other disorders depending upon which genes are affected.

Now errors are always occurring and being fixed. There is a natural “mutation” rate in genetic expression and that rate of deviation is what allowed evolution to occur. Mostly mutations don’t have much impact or have negative impacts. Sometimes they confer advantages even while they create other susceptibilities.

So, for example, the cystic fibrosis mutation I carry (only one) helped me survive a bad case of typhoid I contracted traveling abroad in 2008 and mitigated the GI symptoms from whatever nasty bacteria/virus that has afflicted me since traveling last week.

But get too many mutations and the system’s operations will be compromised.

The environmentally mediated genetic causes of autism are simply the beginning of a more complex discussion about the body and the environment because gene expression is impacted by the epigenome (see, whose operations shaping gene expression are governed by all manner of environmental inputs (physical, biological, psychic, cultural, built environment, etc.).

Too much disruption and the genetic/epigenetic systemic processes create disorder, particularly at critical periods in development, such as during the neonatal and early childhood periods.

I think that the role of ionizing radiation hasn’t been addressed despite its proven role in causing mutations and epigenetic effects.

The people who heard my presentation at the conference were very receptive to my open systems approach to autism and the potential role ionizing radiation might play, along with other environmental “insults,” in producing the de novo mutations found so commonly in the genomes of kids diagnosed with the disorder.

I shared with the audience the significant spike in autism diagnoses among the incoming 2015/2016 California kindergarten class.

People shook their heads and not because they disagreed with my argument of a potential link between Fukushima fallout and autism rates.

Indeed, one immunologist educated me about how immunological effects triggered by exposure to ionizing radiation (and other pathogens), could create epigenetic effects that could lead to autism.

People shook their heads because they recognized the politics that prevents scientists from even researching the role of ionizing radiation in producing autism.

So, that was how people reacted to my presentation.

Despite this rather pessimistic experience, my biggest take away from the conference was the power of individuals to make significant and positive social change.

For example, one participant at the conference from the Philippines in his 20s took his life savings and invested in a school for teens with disabilities who could not fit into the school systems available there (see

After growing his school from a staff of two to multiple locations, he started a program in some of the worst slums in that nation aimed at teaching mothers of kids with disabilities how to treat them therapeutically. His program has been so successful at helping extremely vulnerable populations that it was recently awarded a World Bank grant, with plans for replication in other very poor areas. 6 Minute Video of his story (last 3 minutes focus on intervention in slums

A mother in Egypt followed a similar path in establishing a school for people with disabilities after finding inadequate services were available for her son in Cairo.

Many people have dedicated their lives to helping the most vulnerable among us.

That was inspiring.


  1. While Putin bans GMO's in Russia Obama signs the Monsanto Protection Act. Putin could be said for various reasons to want the best for his people, while Obama seems oblivious to the very idea. Unless corporations ate food, suffered from exposure to ionizing radiation, drank water in areas where fracking prevails, etc. these thing simply would not register anywhere that matters. Most of these things do not require scientific training or talent to grasp and appreciate. As a species we would not have survived if we need higher education to figure out what is safe and what is not. We all do have intuition and experience to draw on. We will have to see now how sensitive the Trump administration will be. I believe his youngest son suffered from excessive vaccination. If alerted to the dangers of radiation for example from Indian Point he might be surprisingly quick to act. Unlike Obama who seem to live somewhere distant from America and its real needs. It is good that you got support for you ideas at this conference. People are getting better informed via the Internet.

  2. Negotiations are ongoing to find a way to allow Trump and Pence to withdraw, to resign even before taking office. There is nothing in American law, not the constitution nor any of the laws of succession.

    What is known is this:

    There was massive electronic vote hacking, using programs which erased themselves, exactly as predicted on InfoWars. All this was done to give Trump key states.
    There is no statistical possibility a candidate can lose the popular vote by over 2m and win an election.
    There is now hard evidence of massive absentee voter fraud, Wisconsin and other states, showing a massive criminal conspiracy behind the Trump candidacy.
    President Obama, as is always the case, is betraying the American people by remaining silent and “doing what is right,” which for him always means “what he is told.”

  3. Interesting theory. The fact is that many. many illegals voted after Obama told them on TV that there would be no consequences. And then there were the dead who always vote for the Democrats. Probably the number in CA alone is far greater than 2m. [Do you really believe that Hillary Clinton would be a good president?] I don't know where you heard this, but I think you need to check your sources again. As for the recount I think Green Jill is revealing herself to be less than transparent as she obviously knew that Pennsylvania could not be recounted without definite proof of fraud. So she will end up with several million left after Wisconsin; and she may not get anywhere with Michigan either. I think she buffaloed the Green Party which is now split and not backing this project. Even Jill Stein got corrupted in this election. Your conspiracy theory obviously has a progressive/liberal origin. You seemed to have shifted what we discovered from Project Veritas about the Democrats to the Republicans. I have not come across anything comparable regarding the Republicans. Your comment reads as though you had inside knowledge from the highest levels and are yet placing that info on an obscure site. Not believable. Using Anonymous for your name is also not reassuring.

  4. I don't know what is going on but the entire world seems insane.

    Trump is frightening. Clinton is also. I voted for Jill Stein and would have supported Bernie Sanders had he received the nomination.

    But I feel more generally that we have entered a period of rapid destabilization.... Trump's rhetoric will incite that destabilization further by adding fuel to an enraged population.

  5. Well, I actually think things will settle down. It is true that Trump has lived a life where he could say or write what he wanted to; and his family is used to it and does not give it much serious consideration. In short some people speak first and think later. All bark and no bite. This is what a man without political experience is like. Not politic! However, considering Biil C., George W. and Obama who were more careful . . . Trump may be really a relief in actions. Remember Obama saying he was good at killing people? George W. talking about WMD? And Bill's sexual depredation? and overlooking Rwanda? All the dead people beginning with George H.W.? Having not paid Jill Stein much attention I am now scrutinizing her and am finding things out that are not okay. Merely teaching at the Harvard Medical School is for me a red flag. She is a member of an elite coterie whose goals are pretty remote from most people's; and admiring Fidel Castro seems very troubling. I don't think the Ladies In White in Cuba would be happy with Jill's praise for Castro's pursuit of justice. And Bernie's about face and support of Hillary? MSM worked hard to paint Trump in a negative light. If he pursues his stated goals, and I believe he will, it will bring relief to lots of people--not least inner city blacks. Personally I do not pay much attention to his tweets or speech when he is agitated. Best to watch what he does. As for the world being insane I think it generally has been. The 20th century attests to that. Merely wanting good relations with Russia is a wonderful sign. Let's give the man a chance and in six months do a review.

  6. As a society we would rather be comfortably uncomfortable with a familiar bad president than uncomfortably comfortable with a good one. This is why abused children later on marry abusive people. This is why blacks keep voting for Democrats who do nothing for them. At least their lives go on familiarly. And that counts for a lot. The unfamiliar can be terrifying. Persons who run homes for battered women know all about this phenomenon. This is why the USA puts up with bad government. Familiar and therefor okay. Right? There really is no significant difference. Probably all sorts of people will oppose any good project this next president initiates. Keep it like it always has been and always will be. '"Make America Great Again" is a serious threat to our security; and he sounds sincere. How do we stop him?' There we have it in a nutshell. >If I am a battered woman I need to get back to the man who beats me up. Help me. I am scared.<

  7. Hope he screws ya shill

  8. What's with publishing all this political propaganda from this shill wsg majia? Seems like trump shills and propagandists get a lot of free media exposure and free passes while they print rabid propaganda and fibs and get a free ride. All one sided. Kinda like fascists from the past. Guess they are empowered by their bully fascist pulpits like the black shirts and brown shirts of times past. Rhetoric getting heated one sided like you said insane. Economy such a mess. All trump wants to do is cut corporate taxes and taxes for the one percent and not have a minimum wage. How's that going to help people earn a living wage in most places in america where rent and housing is sky high.

    1. I prefer to allow reasoned debate rather than censoring posts with divergent views. I let the reader decide for themselves which posts they find most persuasive.

      William and I disagree sharply on quite a few issues since I'm very left in my politics, economics, and values. However, I find his remarks to be interesting, even when I do not agree with their content.

    2. I am sorry majia. I hear ya. It seems that everything is turning into rush Limbaugh and Karl rove revisionist history again Only worse because it is full blown christian identity politics, heil salutes, the whole nine yards. Then they lie about it. Been down this road before. None of these people give a crap about fukushima, crappy nuclear power plants everywhere, or trump opening up yucca mountain. All they ever cared about was getting trump elected while they used the rest of us. They are racist and intolerant. Jill stein and Bernie definitely talked about fukushima and closing down nuclear power plants. Worse than the the bad old George bush-dick cheney, Ashcroft, patriot act on steroids total disregard for democratic values and civil liberties. whatever is good for the corporations including nuclear arsenals, nuclear bombs in space like t old boy Edward teller wanted and more nuclear power. I had hoped to see some of this madness stopped or slowed down or stopped for my kids sakes. Now they will make our lives as miserable as possible and probably will not leave even if voted out as Ted Rall notes. Into the heart of darkness with a fury.

  9. Associating Bernie and stein as communists. Just blabbering off hat ever kind of red baiting or revisionist history nonsense it wants to unabated. It has infected a lot of fukushima and antinuclear websites. Trump gets a ass on that too in their mind. Wants a pronuclear sec. Of energy. Wants to open yucca mountain. Wants to proliferate nuclear weapons to more countries. When will the madness end. When enough npps go off to cause a tipping point. When a nuclear exchange occurs or both. Times of madness

  10. Everyone knows the repubicans started purging hundreds of thousands of African Americans and others off of voting rolls in 2000 . they also used electronic voting machines that could not be tracked to switch votes. This was especially in swing states . Geoge w bush did it again in 2004. Electronic voting machines switched votes to republican candidates who represent the corporations. Brad from the brad blog tracked it and well documented it. So did Greg palast.

    Good on Jill stein for raising money and demanding recounts.

  11. When trump takes office he will have the DAPL protesters arrested or worse.

  12. Don't see trump saying anything about George w bushs patriot act or fukushima. history repeats itself in a bad way. Only the rich and good corporate peons have rights now. This is this shills america. Torture is again being condoned on americans and people in the world. The first thing the republican congress and Donald trump want to impress Americas now corporate subjects.

  13. And the ever growing enemies list of trump takes form

  14. As a thought experiment we can treat the Left as representing the feminine and the Right the masculine. That seems rather accurate going back for 70 or 80 years. You will notice that the Right generally emphasizes law and order;discipline; economy; stoicism; work; etc. The Left tends to recommend more subjective areas like the arts,having fun, sex, sleep,dreams,holidays,leisure,sympathy and compassion. Obviously neither has an exclusive claim on our lives.
    When they are balanced with each other things seem good. When one predominates things seem out of joint. For some time the feminine has dominated despite whether the government was in the hands of democrats or republicans. And during this time a great deal of suppressed and repression material has surfaced and has taken center stage. Just consider Lady Gaga doing a performance in NY say in 1949 . . . probably arrested for indecent behavior. Many words used by most people now would have to disappear or people would lose their jobs. Of course the dress code was entirely different. We could say it was a very strict society then. On the bright side I think the schools were better. What one bought at the store was usually well made in the USA. Etc. I also believe that most people had better health. In any case now the pendulum has swung over the line into a more masculine area. I am a little amazed at how people are seeing Trump as a real threat. Are they projecting their fears of the masculine? A good time for Jungians to come forth. What is true of the whole society is true of individuals: men who are not fearful of feelings and emotions are more well balanced. Women who have developed their masculine side are likewise. By the way I think Jill Stein is not telling the truth. I at least listening to her voice detect someone deceiving her listeners. It is also in her facial expressions and mannerism. Even the Green Party is angry with her and one member is accusing her of perjury in the Wisconsin filing.

  15. The Democrats and Republicans are both the right wing corporate parties dummy

  16. The rightwing corporatocracy is all about preserving the gluttony graft and enslavement by the one percent. It is about futher making the united state a nondemocratic entitity. It is about completely disenfranchising and depriving the non one percent from civil libertarian rights granted by the constitution. Has no concern basic human rights. Trump will move in with guns to permanently disband the dapl protesters. Him and his racist entitled base will put many more in prison to ensure the aims of the nuclear sucrity state. Trump will expand the desires of the nuclear cartels that are coming to a head in the world. The nucleoape maniacs who care nothing about any other life on earth or their own lives.

  17. Watch as Donald the executioner turns it into one giant concentration camp and a bubbling radioactive sewer. Thanks fascist corporatopugligans

    1. By changing yourself, you change others. By changing others you change the world. --Sivayasubramuniyaswami

    2. I don't agree with the gender dichotomy that you paint William. I am more in agreement with those who see our society as dominated by elites and powerful institutions that plan primarily for power and profit and not for the long-term welfare of the eco-system and those within it.

      If CARE for the eco-system and humanity's sustainability are female values, then I say those are the one's that should guide our civilization.

  18. Page 27 of your paper, in the conclusion:
    "Autism research today is disproportionately focused on research that has no direct benefits on people diagnosed with autism or their families."

    Citation needed.
    You can't just argue that " […]research[…] has no direct benefits on people diagnosed with autism or their families." that means nothing.

    "Environmental research is limited and findings have little- to-no policy impacts." Again. Citation needed.

    Also, what kind "policy impact" do you seek?

    To conclude this rebuke, what is the point of this paper?
    It doesn't bring any new information to the table.
    It just criticises studies that don't focus on your particular concern.

    I'm not sure to get your ambitions with this paper.
    Good luck anyway.


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