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  1. ----Comment continued from Huffpo----
  2.  
  3. Yes, quite probably:
  4.  
  5. University of Cambridge - Diagnosed autism is more common in an IT-rich region (2011)
  6. "A new study from Cambridge University has for the first time found that autism diagnoses are more common in an IT-rich region."
  7. http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/diagnosed-autism-is-more-common-in-an-it-rich-region/
  8.  
  9. Psychological Review - Resolving the IQ Paradox: Heterosis as a Cause of the Flynn Effect and Other Trends (2007)
  10. "IQ is far from the only heritable human trait to have undergonelarge changes over time in multiple countries across the world. Storfer (1999) has cited parallel trends in myopia and brain size inarguing for genomic imprinting as the likely cause of the Flynneffect. Mingroni (2004) has cited trends in height, growth rate, myopia, asthma, autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and head dimensions, arguing that all represent the possible effectsof heterosis along with the IQ trend."
  11. http://www.scribd.com/doc/79914286/
  12.  
  13. Ancient DNA Holds Clues to Climate Change Adaptation (Jan. 2012) [Note: I'm not trying to say autism has anything to do with climate change.  This article just provides evidence that certain organisms have "evolved to rapidly (re-)evolve" certain functions within a generation or two.  Suddenly selecting for smart, awkward people might trigger an evolutionary mechanism in humans (and yes, this could also explain civilization's tragically cyclical nature)]
  14. "These 'epigenetic' changes can occur rapidly between generations -- without requiring the time for standard evolutionary processes.
  15. Such epigenetic modifications could explain how animal species are able to respond to rapid climate change."
  16. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120131102519.htm
  17.  
  18. Epigenetics of autism spectrum disorders (2006)
  19. "the role of epigenetic factors in the basic etiology of FXS and Rett syndrome, two single gene disorders associated with autism and ASD, clearly indicates that proper regulation of gene expression via epigenetic mechanisms is critical for development of the neural circuits involved in social behaviors, language and cognition in humans; the parent of origin effect on chromosome 15q duplications indicates that one (or more) of the imprinted genes in the region participate in the susceptibility to ASD associated with this disorder."
  20. http://hmg.oxfordjournals.org/content/15/suppl_2/R138.long
  21.  
  22. Epigenetic Epidemiology of Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders (2012)
  23. "It is becoming increasingly clear that environmental and genetic factors significantly impact the epigenome. The epigenome is responsible for modulating gene expression in all tissue types, and is especially important in neuronal cells. The epigenome serves to interpret environmental signals and adjust the neuronal environment and transcriptional activity accordingly."
  24. http://www.springerlink.com/content/h8003l8343t81584/fulltext.html
  25.  
  26. Epigenetic Signatures of Autism (March 2012)
  27. "Subjects with autism showed no evidence for generalized disruption of the developmentally regulated remodeling of the H3K4me3 landscape that defines normal prefrontal cortex neurons in early infancy. However, excess spreading of H3K4me3 from the transcription start sites into downstream gene bodies and upstream promoters was observed specifically in neuronal chromatin from 4 of 16 autism cases but not in controls. Variable subsets of autism cases exhibit altered H3K4me3 peaks at numerous genes regulating neuronal connectivity, social behaviors, and cognition, often in conjunction with altered expression of the corresponding transcripts. Autism-associated H3K4me3 peaks were significantly enriched in genes and loci implicated in neurodevelopmental diseases."
  28. http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/69/3/314