April 24, 2019
To be posted on Nobabies.net
Dr Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown
Tempe, Arizona 85287
Dear Dr Krajmalnik-Brown,
I have read with delight the article “Guts, Brains and Autism” in Economist vol. 431 no. 9145 June 1, 2019 page 67. That is fantastically good news. An understanding of autism (ASD), not to mention a cure, should have people dancing in the streets. To do my part, I ran out and danced to the tune of zip-a-dee-doo-dah. Sad to say, I did little honor to Terpsichore, but I tried.
This corrects an error I was laboring under. Observing that ASD seems to follow urbanization and to increase over time, I reflected that the same can be said for infertility. That is my own obsession. In the broad picture, infertility depends on kinship, which decreases over time with urbanization, so I was considering ASD to be another of several mechanisms of infertility. The ones I can get a handle on, fewer babies, smaller penises and lower sperm counts, have been documented. But whether there is a behavioral component remained a mystery for me. The mechanism I have been able to lay out is epigenetic. You can find my evidence on the enclosed DVD (Word, Windows 10) with “collection” being the most efficient presentation, “Grand Summary Fertility” about the same in a bigger format and the “Hans” movie basically showing it all at once.
The mechanism in humans appears to depend on Mendelian genetics. Obviously that does not apply to bacteria. So the reason for the growth remains puzzling. Somehow Prevotella drops out; perhaps it is just a matter of hyper-scrupulous hygiene. But the existence of probiotic bacteria raises another possibility. If I ran the zoo, I would take 128 bowel flora samples from people as closely related as feasible and figure out how to cross them 7 times such that there were still 128 different populations, each descended from all of the original lines. Then I would take 128 samples from people as unrelated as possible. If Prevotella disappears from the unrelated lines but to the related lines, it will be following the logic of infertility by a different mechanism. The experiment should not take but a square meter of bench space and couple of hours every couple of weeks for three or four weeks, the bait being yet another paradigm shift for you.
I hope I get to go out and clunk through my dance again before the end of the year, maybe this time not alone.
M. Linton Herbert