On Thursday, Autism Science Foundation, Autism Speaks and the Escher Fund for Autism co-organized the 2nd in the series of environmental epigenetic of autism webinars to the community. Dr. Dana Dolinoy of U. Michigan and Dr. Carol Yauk of Carleton University in Canada provided a summary of recent data that showed how environmental exposures affect not just the offspring, but potentially future generations. In addition, common exposures may cause mutation in the cells that form sperm and eggs of humans, influencing multiple generations. This is done through epigenetics or the turning on or turning off of the DNA. The epigenome has been somewhat the ‘forgotten stepchild’ of human genetics, which is slowly changing. The full webinar will also be posted on asfpodcast.org but in case you don’t have time for the whole 2 hours, this is a 10 minute summary. Finally, hear what we really think about the USPSTF statement on universal screening.
Here is the picture I promised in the podcast!