Australia: recent publications

Is Dyslexia Genetic? Study Identifies 42 Genes Tied to the Learning Disorder

November 9, 2022New research has identified 42 genes responsible for dyslexia, a language-based learning disorder, and confirmed its genetic link to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in what is considered the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) of dyslexia to date. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia, the University of Edinburgh, and the U.S.-based consumer genetics company 23andMe, Inc.

conducted the study and published their findings in the journal Nature Genetics. 1“Family studies of dyslexia suggest heritability up to 70%, yet few convincing genetic markers have been found… meaning that this study changes our perspective on dyslexia genetics in a big way,” researchers said.Study participants drawn from the customer base of 23andMe, Inc.

included 51,800 adults with dyslexia (21,513 male, 30,287 female) and 1,087,070 (446,054 male, 641,016 female) without dyslexia. Their ages ranged from 18 to 110 years.DNA was extracted from saliva samples and genotyped on one of five genotyping platforms by the National Genetics Institute (NGI).

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Making Space For Positive Change: Burn It To The Ground
When I first arrived in Australia from the UK in early 2012, I witnessed the WEIRDEST thing….I was driving along a country back road ‘out bush’, when I noticed the Department of Parks and Wildlife trucks making a roadblock.  A tunnel of thick black smoke filled the hot summer air just beyond them, billowing and undulating aggressively as if it was sent by the Devil himself to annihilate all life on Earth.I stopped at the roadblock, mesmerized by the ferocity of nature, when I saw the weird thing…Men and women, wearing fluorescent yellow onesies were deliberately setting fire to the bushland. Deliberately!They were holding ignitor devices that looked like flame-throwers, casually walking along the roadside, and pouring flames onto the bushland.I was incredulous.Terrified.Angry.“What HOOLIGANS!” I screamed inside my head, slapping my steering wheel.I sat there with my mouth wide open wondering what I should do about the flame-thrower-wielding nut-bags.I could not believe the destruction that was unfolding in front of me.Black smoke billowed into the air, a swarm of Eagles, Kites, and Kestrels circled above, occasionally diving to the smoldering ashes to pick off the fleeing reptiles and rodents.“OMG the animals!!! The plants!” I wanted to run into the fire and save everything.The searing orange flames incinerated the gum trees, grasses and shrubs with every lick, and made the wind swirl like mini-tornadoes around my car making the heat even more unbearable than it already was in my old banger with dodgy air-con. What on earth was going on?? Should I call the Police? Had these Government workers gone rogue? I was about to rage out of my car and perform a multiple citizens arrest, when one of the male flame-throwers politely