UnDisciplined: The Occupational Therapist And The Evolutionary Biologist

Feb 15, 2019

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about stress, but from two very different scientific points of view. 

First, we're joined by a researcher who uncovered a startling recent increase in deaths by suicide among people with an Autism diagnosis. Then, we'll chat with a scientist who helped reveal that stressors experienced by ancestors could help bolster the immune response of future generations. 

Anne Kirby is an assistant professor in the division of occupational therapy at the University of Utah. Her study, published in January in the journal Autism Research, examined the suicide risk among individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, revealing that the risk of suicide in those with ASD has increased in recent years. 

Gail McCormick is part of a team of researchers at Pennsylvania State University who study the fascinating evolutionary relationship between lizards and fire ants. Her most recent study in the journal Experimental Biology revealed that descendants of animals who were frequently exposed to stress had a better immune response to stressors in their own lives.