shorts11-235x300To start off our slew of rather unfortunate news, panelists at a symposium in UC Berkeley’s Alumni House talked turkey vis-à-vis California’s future high-speed rail—and their timbre was less than optimistic. [Innovations]

There is, according to one Berkeley economist, a five percent chance that the U.S. will experience a “depression-causing shock.” We’d be interested to see the breakdown in his math. [Seattle Times]

Want to know the alleged (and disturbing) connection between flu shots, mercury and autism? Enlighten yourself at a Nov. 21 symposium at the UC Berkeley Art Museum Theater. Oh, except it’s 60 bucks. So maybe just Google Dr. Andy Wakefield. [PRLog]

And, in conclusion, a pithy affirmation of all your chronic concerns. []

Earlier: Save Our Budget, Lose the Professors

UC Berkeley professor Patricia Buffler is looking for potential culprits for autism, a disease which affects 1 in every 150 children in the United States. Her research, however, is not geared towards genetics or the baby’s development in the mommy’s pregnant belly–for Buffler, it’s what’s on the outside that counts.

Buffler is checking out dust in air samples and keeping an inventory of household chemicals in search of a correlation between these and autism. Unfortunately for Californians, we seem to be setting up camp in one of their leading suspects.

Does this mean autism may be caused by airborne somethings or invading DNA mutators? It sounds like a microscopic alien horror movie. Creepy!

Image Source: skampy under Creative Commons
Researchers try to solve mystery of autism [InsideBayArea]