I wonder what could cause this?

From a genetic standpoint, however, there is growing evidence that boys aren\’t more susceptible to autism, but rather girls are more protected from it. Yale researchers added to this thinking with new findings presented last week in which they looked at the DNA of several thousand children with autism.

They found that girls actually had substantially more high-risk genetic mutations associated with autism than boys, on average twice as many. Yet, because girls develop autistic features less often, something about being female is protective against the condition, said Stephan Sanders, a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University who presented the work.

Err, being X,X perhaps?

Given that X,o is (kinda) viable while Y,o most definitely ain\’t could this be part of the reason d\’ye think? Two X?

19 thoughts on “I wonder what could cause this?”

  1. Looks a bit epicyclic to me.

    There seems to possibly be a lot of confusion of causation and correlation in genetics at the moment (as in lifestyle epidemiology). Statistics can be misleading, and they find some actually rather weak correlation between State X and Allele Y, and say “Y is a risk factor for X” and then “Y is causative of X”. But then here we have them seeing that Y isn’t causative of X after all, so must bolt on an epicycle to explain that.

    Because they haven’t got a solid mechanism linking Y to X, just a statistical association. So I think there’s a bit of hubris going on. Much of biology is still in a very primitive state. This is particularly true of genetics, and of brain function. We know much more than we used to. But that is still far, far less than we need to know.

  2. They call it autism in men but in us women it’s called being mysterious, alluring, and sexually haughty.

    Kisses. Especially you, Tim. Love all this green font! It’s like rolling naked in a field!

  3. The thought of a 26 year old former swimwear model with natural 36DD breasts rolling naked in a field has, I have to admit, thoroughly brightened up my afternoon.

  4. I’m with Felicity on this one (in spirit only, sadly). There’s nothing requiring any explanation beyond the definitions we use.

    “[Autistic spectrum] disorders are typically characterized by social deficits, communication difficulties, stereotyped or repetitive behaviors and interests, and in some cases, cognitive delays.”

    Those are obviously male traits taken to extremes.

  5. Dave, you forgot to mention shyness, which no doubt explains your parenthesis. Well, no need to be shy with me. I agree with everything you say and my underwear is in the post. Kisses. xxx

  6. Ribald internet flirtery is always fun, tarnished only by the discovery that she’s actually a 52 year old unemployed former hospital porter called Bernard.

  7. This fantasy of yours that sees me as a ’52 year old unemployed former hospital porter called Bernard’ is remarkably precise and obvious long considered. Of course, I can be anything you want me to be so long as I have the outfit. But a Bernard?! Not sure how I would pull that off. I could make a Bernard Cribbins mask but I worry it might slip off once I started to bounce.

    I’m glad I stopped by now. This is definitely the most fun I’ve ever had blogging from the bathtub.

  8. XO is very viable, it results in girls with Turner’s syndrome who will appear more or less normal to most people. In XX women one X is inactivated anyway.

  9. John makes a serious point and here I am feeling like I’m being a terrible distraction… Of course, I wish I understood all this XO and XX business. I’m afraid I only understand XXX and sometimes on a good day, XXXX, but that’s only for men I know really well, such as Ian.

    I’ll be quiet now. You all just carry on and I’m sorry if these comments have gone off topic. I wouldn’t want Tim to get angry with me… Or perhaps I would…

  10. Well, I’ve got nothing against Felicity rolling around in the long grass, but that’s just me. Here I am in an ancient English village, overlooked by the Norman church, on a day that’s warm but not too warm, with the birds serenading and the cat idly pondering whether she can murder one or more of them. So it all fits together in a romantic idyll kind of a way.

  11. It’s always possible, of course, the gene that expresses as autism in males expresses as a sense of humour in females. Neither are particularly common nor easy to explain.

  12. Skewed diagnostics? Autism shows in boys as excessively male behaviour: obsessional, mathematical, interest in retired accountants, etc.
    Autism in girls more likely to be diagnosed as plain vanilla handicap because you get the same obsessional behaviour but you don’t get the math-space part of the obsession.

  13. So Much for Subtlety

    John – “In XX women one X is inactivated anyway.”

    But presumably the claim is that if one part of one X is not working properly, the parallel part on the other X can switch on. This has been suggested as a reason why women live longer than men so it is possible. The question is whether it is true. It would be interesting to design an experiment.

  14. AARGH: bloody hell, Tim, when are you going to sort your bleeding sotware?

    Anyway, the following is effing stupid:
    there is growing evidence that boys aren’t more susceptible to autism, but rather girls are more protected from it.

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