Anthropogenic Influences on Biology and the Biota, and Connections to Autism Spectrum Disorders

A timely article by Dr. Russell M. Jaffe and Dr. Norman Schwartz that rethinks conventional understandings of autism from a multidisciplinary, integrative, and functional perspective. It draws on the disciplines of integrative physiology, molecular biology, environmental toxicology, and systems dynamics.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is one of several neurodevelopmental disorders that have increased over 100-fold in less than a century, particularly in the developed world. Over this time period, an unprecedented two-way experiment between humans and the natural world has been under way. As human activity reaches the point where it is affecting planetary ecosystems, the sum of local human choices has delivered unforeseen consequences often extending far beyond their source. The outcome of this neither controlled nor blind experiment raises questions about the quality, diversity, and sustainability of life on earth.

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