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In loving memory to my father, the late Prof. M.J.

Toerien, who did ground

breaking work in the field of Embryology before he passed away in 1977. His
research was aimed at establishing what
defects in the embryo lead to what birth
defects. Despite the more than three
decades since he passed away, a very
long period in terms of advances in
medical research, researchers still often
quote from his work when presenting
When preparing this paper it was an ideal
to also be able to quote something from
my father’s research, despite our study
fields being light years removed. We did
have something in common, though, as my father was first trained as geologist,
before specializing in Palaeontology, acquiring a doctorate, before focussing on
Embryology, and I also majored in Physical Geography, thus sharing some
My quotes from his work are in the field of
embryology, however.
I also acknowledge the support of my
wife, Joan, who apart from running a full
time home business to look after our
autistic son, Jandré, and also handles his
home schooling.
We also thank the Lord that Jandré has a
supporting brother, Nic.
We also thank the Lord that Jandré is so
good natured and has so much art talent, and for the progress made with his
Photo’s: The late Prof. (M.J.)
Jan Toerien with his wife
Johanna, Jandré who falls
somewhere on the autistic
spectrum, with his brother Nic,
and an earlier family photo
(Jandré is now taller than both
his parents), Nic, mother Joan,
Jandré and the compiler of this
draft paper, Herman Toerien.
Electromagnetic fields: Friend or foe for autism and genetic related
Autism, a cosmic alien visitor?

The occurrence of autism saw a dramatic increase in the past few decades, with
more and more evidence that there is often a link between gene mutations or
defects. Simultaneously the earth’s electromagnetic field is becoming weaker at
an increasing pace. The electromagnetic field shields us from harmful cosmic

Electromagnetic fields: Friend or foe for autism and genetic related

Autism, a cosmic alien visitor?

Note: This is an updated preliminary report, and it is aimed to focus the article on
one of my study fields, geomorphology. This draft is still in the early stages and
the listing of data as it is not intended to be plagiary, and will be properly woven
in and sourced. As this draft paper touches on fields outside my field of expertise
and training, I plan to submit it for input to experts. In the mean time I will be most
grateful for any input at and all contributions
included will be acknowledged in the final paper.
Herman Toerien


The Autism Knowledge Revolution, writes, is picking up the pace

and seems at times to be adding to our knowledge of autism on a daily basis. A
new study offers a genetic mutation model of autism acquisition which the
scientists involved suggest may help unify some of the current disparate theories
of autism.

That some conditions may be traced back to the gene defects had been known
for decades. Prof. M.J. Toerien, my late father who was then professor in
Anatomy at the Free State University, after studying the characteristic defects of
the human Cyclops produced by a direct or indirect lesion of the anterior
cranial neural crests, came to the following conclusion in a 1974 paper: “The real
cause for Cyclopia is unknown, although genetic (chromosome) defects can be
pointed out in a number of Cyclops. If the cause of Cyclops development is
genetic in nature, the genetic effect must be sought in insufficient amnion

SA Medical Journal, 7 December 1974, 2443
Newsweek proceeds: “The theory involves mothers acquiring and passing on
autism related genetic mutations to their children. The mutations are
spontaneous, arising from assaults to chromosomes. The assaults can arise from
a wide range of unspecified environmental facts including naturally occurring
cosmic rays and environmental toxins and contaminants. In addition to maternal
transmission of the autism related genetic mutation older moms are indicated as
being more likely to have an autistic child according to this study by geneticists at
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Scientists from the Kennedy Krieger Institute and
the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx collaborated in the study.
The data network developed by also assisted the researchers
in the study….. Environment versus genetics as competing and conflicting
theories of autism causation seems to be giving way to environment and genetics
as a unified theory of how autism develops.”

Geneticists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have been on a genome-wide hunt

to pinpoint the genes that cause autism.

Electromagnetic fields

When reading on electromagnetic fields, two major different types of fields

crystallise – the earth’s electromagnetic field (mostly referred to only as the
earth’s magnetic field), and the electromagnetic fields generated by electric

Over four billion years ago, Mars had an atmosphere. It was a living planet with
water and possibly even some manner of life. However, four billion years ago
Mars lost its magnetosphere, the electromagnetic field that protects the planet
from solar wind and other cosmic radiations. Without that electromagnetic field
the planet slowly died. Now four billion years later the lush and thriving planet
Earth is witnessing a drastic decrease in the strength of its own magnetosphere.
According to some scientists it has dropped as much as 10% over the last 300

With both versions, autism frequently pop up – in the case of the earth’s
electromagnetic field in a positive sense, and in the case of electric appliances –
even those designed as electromagnetic therapeutical appliances, in an alarmist

It is common knowledge that the earth’s electromagnetic field, together with the
ozone layer, plays a crucial role in protecting terra based life as we know it from
harmful cosmic rays. Just an interesting sideline remark, Alpha waves are the
home of the window frequency known as the Schuman Resonance, which is the-
resonant frequency of the earth’s electromagnetic field. Alpha waves range
between 7-12 HZ.

Charissa Starr, Which way does your compass point?
The irony is that the electromagnetic fields of electric appliances are alleged to
create similar effects as the harmful effects the earth’s electromagnetic field
protect us from. Strahler writes on this as follows: “Since man is also a producer
of ionising radiation at intensity levels potentially much higher than natural levels,
the total production of ionising radiation is a subject of great importance in
environment science.”3

In short, the earth’s electro magnetic field and the ozone layer and the ozone
layer protect us from harmful cosmic rays that may, amongst others, stimulate
gene mutations, some of which may be associated with autism and other genetic
conditions such as cancer.

Electromagnetic fields of electric appliances

Allegations are made that the electromagnetic fields of electric appliances cause
similar conditions. On this, however, the debate is open with the manufacturers
of electric appliances such as cell phones, radios and computers insisting that
this is not true.

Those sounding the alarm bells argue that even if the evidence is still
inconclusive, they can not be dismissed either. The example of industry’s
insistence that cigarette smoking was not harmful until eventually science
eventually proved otherwise, and the damage already done, is often used.
An argument thus of: “What if?”

There is no arguing that electric appliances do generate electromagnetic fields.

The following graph indicates the wave lengths of some appliances, as taken
from a paper in 2000 of Dr. Nabeel Kouka:

StrahlerA.N. Introduction to Physical Geography, p. 48
The National Council of Radiation Protection Measurements (NCRP) draft report
published in the July/August 1995 issue of Microwave News states the following
10 mG (1 micro Tesla) human exposure limit by Section Option 3.
An exposure guideline of 10 mG and 100V/m: A considerable body of
observations has documented bioeffects of fields of fields at these strengths
across the gamut from isolated cells to animals, and in man. Although the
majority of these reported effects do not fall directly in the category of hazards,
many may be regarded as potentially hazardous. Since epidemiological studies
point to increased cancer risks at even lower levels, a case can be made for
recommending 10 mG and 100V/m as levels not to be exceeded in prolonged
human exposures. Most homes and occupational environments are within these
values, but it would be prudent to assume that higher levels may constitute a
health risk. In the short term, a safety guideline set at this level would have
significant consequences, particularly in occupational settings and close to high
voltage transmission and distribution systems, but it is unlikely to disrupt the
present pattern of electricity usage. These levels may be exceeded in homes
close to transmission lines, distribution lines and transformer substations, in
some occupational environments, and for users of devices that operate close to
the body, such as hair dryers and electric blankets. From a different perspective,
adoption of such a guideline would serve a dual purpose: first, as a vehicle for
public instruction on potential health hazards of existing systems that generate
fields above these levels, as a basis for “prudent avoidance”, and second, as a
point of departure in planning for acceptable field levels in future developments in
housing, schooling, and the workplace, and in transportation systems, both public
and private, that will be increasingly dependent on electric propulsion.

Appliance 6” 1’ 2’ 4’
Lowest 1 - - -
Highest 700 70 10 1
Microwave Oven
Lowest 100 1 1 -
Highest 300 200 30 20
Lowest - - - -
Highest 40 20 10 10
Lowest 5 - - -
Highest 10 7 - -
Color TV
Lowest - - - -
Highest - 20 8 4
Washing Machine
Lowest 4 1 - -
Highest 100 30 6 -
Vacuum Cleaner
Lowest 100 20 4 -
Highest 700 200 50 10
Analog Clock
Lowest - 1 - -
Highest - 30 5 3
Window Air Conditioner
Lowest - 20 6 4
Highest - - - -
Lowest 100 20 3 -
Highest 200 40 6 -
Power Saw
Lowest 50 9 1 -
Highest 1000 300 40 4
Electric Blanket (Conventional) 2”
Avg. 21.8 - - -
Peak 39.4 - - -
Electric Blanket (Low Mag Fld)
Avg. 0.9 - - -
Peak 2.7 - - -

We thus ask again: “What if?”

In the case of cigarette smoke people, in general, can protect or shield them form
coming in contact with smoke. Countries, in general, are instituting stricter and
stricter laws, assisting people to avert being exposed to smoke.

But electromagnetic fields are more difficult to avert. They go through almost any
material except iron plates. To shield one from the electromagnetic radiation of
one’s computer offer a few problems.

In fact, very often, one may find that you serve as antenna for electromagnetic
radiation as the body is an excellent conductor.
Earth’s Electromagnetic field – the Magnetosphere

But the problems offered by electric appliance originated electromagnetic fields

are insignificant to what happens to us when the earth’s electromagnetic field
diminishes or disappears, especially with the ozone layer stretched and
punctured. Yet, earlier catastrophic predictions such as near extinction of life
seem to be over exaggerated.

The electromagnetic field of the earth is created by convection streams in the

molten, metallic core of the earth, and it is related to the fact that the earth is
revolving around its axel. This is demonstrated by the magnetic poles wandering
around not to far from the geographic poles. This is what makes compasses to
point in a northerly direction.

The effective limit of the external magnetic field lies probably 64 000 to 130 000
kilometres above the earths surface, and the region within this outer boundary is
called the magnetosphere. 4 Despite the reaching distance of the
magnetosphere, the higher the altitude the higher the radiation intensity. At
approximately 10 000 meter above the surface the radiation level is 30 times
higher than at the surface.

“The cosmic particles arriving from elsewhere in the universe, on entering the
earth’s atmosphere impacts the nucleus of an atom of gas, giving rise to a
complex chain of disintegration and energy dissipations, collectively called a
cosmic shower. Products of a cosmic shower are neutrons, protons and gamma

The term ionising radiation is used for radiation capable of tearing off electrons
from atoms that intercept that radiation. Gamma rays and X rays are sources of
ionising radiation. Since cosmic particles penetrate the atmosphere with much
greater energy than X-rays, the effects of cosmic radiation are important at the
earth’s surface and make up an important part to the background ionising to
which life forms are exposed.

The biological effect of ionising radiation is to produce changes in genetic

materials within cells or organisms.5

The strength of the magnetic field varies much over time, but as a rule only
switches around when the levels are very low or depleted. The periods between
flips also vary largely.

Strahler, A.N.: Introduction to Physical Geography, Third edition, p. 46, 1973
Ibib 47 - 48
The field last flipped over about 780,000 years ago (0.78 million years); previous
reversals occurred about 0.99, 1.07, 1.19, 1.2, 1.77 and 1.95 miilion years ago.
The following graph indicates the flips of the past two million yers, to which this
study is mostly limited.

The following graph, dating back to 150 million years, is to point out how much
the periods between flips can vary. The period between about 85 and 125 million
years ago are especially noteworthy.

Tot try and find some link between cosmic radiation and autism, the study needs
to focus on the time span of human existence, especially Homo sapiens sapiens.

Homo Sapiens sapiens appeared on the scene approximately a 100 000 years
ago, well within the period of approximately 780 000 years of the present
orientation. The earlier forefather, Homo Sapiens, backdates to approximately
500 000 to 130 000 years. A contemporary version, but not an ancestor as
thought earlier, existed between 90 000 to 35 000 years ago. 6This is all covered
in the period of the present orientation of the earth’s magnetic field.

What is the current position with the earth’s electromagnetic field?

Earth's magnetic field:

4 000 years ago = 2.5 Gauss
Today it is . . . . = 0.5 Gauss
(Varies by location and time)
That is a decrease of 80%

According to NASA, at the present time, Earth's field is declining in strength by

5% every century and other put it at 10 % over the past 150 years. Scientists say
the Earth's magnetic field shows signs that it is about to flip upside-down. It is
continuing to drop at an increasing rate. So the evidence would suggest that as
our Electromagnetic field continually decreases, that the Earth is preparing to
make just such a reversal. At the current rate of decline it would take 1500 to
2000 years to disappear. Others point out that this switch around is long overdue.

It is not all that simple however. Within a period of the same orientation, many
fluctuations may occur, as is demonstrated in the following graph:

Apart from the present low (not reflected in this graph) there had been two
periods of low magnetic field, one just more than half a million years ago, and
one approximately 200 000 years ago. Another interesting notion is that the
earth’s magnetic field had on average been stronger than in the previous switch
around periods. During this period, considering that cosmic radiation would
normally have been well shielded, one would expect a more stable genetic
history than during the period of more magnetic field switching and lower levels

Van den Heever en G. Bunce, Prehistoriese lewe, Struik Uitgawers, 2000 and
J. Jelínek, The Evolution of Man, Hamlyn, 1976.
of magnetic fields as witnessed between 780 000 approximately 1,5 million years

Yet, without making any sound correlation, it seems as though early Homo
Sapiens developed soon after the magnetic field dip of just more than 500 000
years ago. Homo Sapiens sapiens and Neanderthal came on the scene when
there was another dip, but somewhat lesser than the previous, some 100 000
years ago.

Approximately 300 000 years ago when the FOXP2 gene indicating possible
speech was first present within Homo Sapsiens and Neanderthal, there was also
a significant dip.

Much more data need be uncovered before a fixed correlation between human
development and dips in the magnetic field can be established. Yet, at present it
could not be ruled out.

One needs to pint out some misconceptions about human development often
herd, which may confuse the subject. Critics of evolution often argue in terms of
the notion that evolution always implies development in ‘n positive inclined line
replacing older forms. In reality, evolution may go in any direction if generated or
assisted by cosmic radiation, but less successful of springs would unlikely have
survived. Secondly, only the descendants of the person carrying the mutated or
damaged gene will have the new characteristics, not an entire population. If the
mutated version is in competition with the original version, and more successful,
the older version may well in time be replaced.

Jeremy Hsu, staff writer of Science Line, writes something beneath the surface is
changing Earth's protective magnetic field, which may leave satellites and other
space assets vulnerable to high-energy radiation.

The gradual weakening of the overall magnetic field can take hundreds and even
thousands of years. But smaller, more rapid fluctuations within months may leave
satellites unprotected and catch scientists off guard, new research finds.

A new model uses satellite data from the past nine years to show how sudden
fluid motions within the Earth's core can alter the magnetic envelope around our
planet. This represents the first time that researchers have been able to detect
such rapid magnetic field changes taking place over just a few months.

"There are these changes in the South Atlantic, an area where the magnetic field
has the smallest envelope at one third [of what is] normal," said Mioara Mandea,

Geoblogosphere latest, Chris Rowan, 5 February 2009.
a geophysicist at the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences in
Potsdam, Germany.

Even before the newly detected changes, the South Atlantic Anomaly
represented a weak spot in the magnetic field — a dent in Earth's protective

Bubble bobble
The Earth's magnetic field generated from the spinning effect of the electrically-
conductive core that acts something like a giant electromagnet. The field creates
a tear-drop shaped bubble that has constantly shielded life on Earth against
much of the high-energy radiation flowing from the sun. and the universe.

A flip in the north and south poles typically involves a weakening in the magnetic
field, followed by a period of rapid recovery and reorganization of opposite
polarity. Some studies in recent years have suggested the next reversal might be
imminent, but the jury is out on that question.

Measuring interactions between the magnetic field and the molten iron core
3 000 km down has proven difficult in the past, but the constant observations of
satellites such as CHAMP and Orsted have begun to bring the picture into focus.

Electric storm
Mandea worked with Nils Olsen, a geophysicist at the University of Copenhagen
in Denmark, to create a model of the fluid core that fits with the magnetic field
changes detected by the satellites. However, the rapid weakening of the
magnetic field in the South Atlantic Anomaly region could signal future troubles
for such satellites. Radiation storms from the sun could fry electronic equipment
on satellites that suddenly lacked the protective cover of a rapidly changing
magnetic field.

"For satellites, this could be a problem," Mandea told "If there are
magnetic storms and high-energy particles coming from the sun, the satellites
could be affected and their connections could be lost."

The constant radiation bombardment from the sun blows with the solar wind to
Earth, where it flows against and around the magnetic field. The effect creates
the tear-drop shaped magnetosphere bubble, but even the powerful field cannot
keep out all the high-energy particles.

Topsy-turvy history
A large sunspot set off a major radiation storm in 2006 that temporarily blinded
some sun-watching satellites. Astronauts on the International Space Station
retreated to a protected area as a precaution to avoid unnecessary radiation
The Earth's overall magnetic field has weakened at least 10 percent over the
past 150 years, which could also point to an upcoming field reversal.
Mandea and Olsen hope to continue refining their model with updated
observations, and perhaps to eventually help predict future changes in the
Earth's magnetic field.8

As the electromagnetic field fields orientate metal particles in newly formed rock,
analysing the age of the rock and the orientation at that stage, one can make
several useful deductions such as tracing the routes of continents during
continental drifting.9

Other sciences also make use of this data, such as the relatively new science of
cosmoclimatology. Comparative studies between climatic changes and sun flares
have revealed consistent interaction, to the extent that climatologists believe that
the interaction between more, or less, sun activity with the earth’s
electromagnetic field at least contributed to periods of climatic change such as
ice ages or hotter periods.

Carissa Starr writes that scientists found that the

electromagnetic switching has happened throughout
the Earth's history approximately every 250 000
years (as opposed to the last 780 000 years ago).

How do they know this? According to the NOVA

Special "Magnetic Storm", scientists have been
using Hawaii for decades to study the Earth's core
and it's Electromagnetic Field. Hawaii's perpetual
volcanic flow is a 5.5million year record of the Earth's
Electromagnetic field. The lava from the core
contains particles called Magnetite which, as the
lava cools, align themselves with 'Magnetic North.' By examining layers of lava,
which date back hundreds of years, they have learned just how dramatically
"Magnetic North" has changed over time. It was learned that the weakest records
of the electromagnetic field always preceded one of the Magnetic Pole
Reversals, a decline of as much as 80-90%.

But what happens when the earth loses its electromagnetic field?

Sloshing Inside Earth Changes Protective Magnetic Field, Jeremy Hsu
Staff Writer, Science Line, posted: 18 August 2008
H. H. Read and J. Watson, Introduction to Geology, Volume 1, pp 646 – 647,
The more responsible scientist shy away from an apocalyptic approach,
indicating that the real
concern will be when the
polar switch over occurs,
and by then, it is argued,
science will know haw to
handle it. For all practical
purposes our concern is not
the switching of occurrence,
but the declining level,
coupled with unpredictable
very strong bursts of cosmic
rays. Cosmic ray, by the way, is a misnomer as they are individual particles, not
a ray or beam. (Graphic from a paper by Carissa Starr)

Dec. 16, 2008: NASA's five THEMIS spacecraft have discovered a breach in Earth's
magnetic field ten times larger than anything previously thought to exist. Solar wind
can flow in through the opening to "load up" the magnetosphere for powerful
geomagnetic storms. But the breach itself is not the biggest surprise. Researchers
are even more amazed at the strange and unexpected way it forms, overturning
long-held ideas of space physics.

"At first I didn't believe it," says THEMIS project scientist David Sibeck of the
Goddard Space Flight Center. "This finding fundamentally alters our understanding of
the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction."

Some play the horn of what they call Magnetic Field Deficiency Syndrome, but
our interest lies with a possible link to autism.

Sources of cosmic rays

Just as a side line note. Not all cosmic radiation effecting earth originates from
the sun. A significant amount originates extra terrestrial from major events such
as quasars.

Nearly 100 years ago, scientists detected the first signs of cosmic rays --
subatomic particles (mostly protons) that zip through space at nearly the speed
of light. The most energetic cosmic rays hit with the punch of a 98-mph fastball,
even though they are smaller than an atom. Astronomers questioned what
natural force could accelerate particles to such a speed. New evidence from the
VERITAS telescope array shows that cosmic rays likely are powered by
exploding stars and stellar "winds."

The rarest cosmic rays carry over 100 billion times as much energy as generated
by any particle accelerator on Earth. ("Cosmic ray" is a historical misnomer, since
they are individual particles, not a ray or beam.) Astronomers have devised
ingenious methods for detecting cosmic rays that hit Earth's atmosphere.

Cosmic Explosion Among the Brightest in Recorded History - NASA

Scientists have detected a flash of light from across the Galaxy so powerful that it
bounced off the Moon and lit up the Earth's upper atmosphere. The flash was
brighter than anything ever detected from beyond our Solar System and lasted
over a tenth of a second. NASA and European satellites and many radio
telescopes detected the flash and its aftermath on December 27, 2004. Two
science teams report about this event at a special press event today at NASA
headquarters. A multitude of papers are planned for publication.

Image/animation: Image 1: Artist

conception of the December 27,
2004 gamma ray flare expanding
from SGR 1806-20 and impacting
Earth’s atmosphere.

The scientists said the light came

from a "giant flare" on the surface
of an exotic neutron star, called a
magnetar. The apparent
magnitude was brighter than a full
moon and all historical star
explosions. The light was brightest in the gamma-ray energy range, far more
energetic than visible light or X-rays and invisible to our eyes.

Such a close and powerful

eruption raises the question of
whether an even larger influx of
gamma rays, disturbing the
atmosphere, was responsible for
one of the mass extinctions
known to have occurred on Earth
hundreds of millions of years ago.
Also, if giant flares can be this
powerful, then some gamma-ray
bursts (thought to be very distant
black-hole-forming star
explosions) could actually be from
neutron star eruptions in nearby galaxies.
Image/animation: Image 2: An artist conception of the SGR 1806-20 magnetar
including magnetic field lines. After the initial flash, smaller pulsations in the data
suggest hot spots on the rotating
magnetar’s surface. The data also
shows no change in the
magentar’s rotation after the initial

NASA's newly launched Swift

satellite and the NSF-funded Very
Large Array (VLA) were two of
many observatories that observed
the event, arising from neutron
star SGR 1806-20, about 50,000
light years from Earth in the
constellation Sagittarius.

"This might be a once-in-a-lifetime event for astronomers, as well as for the

neutron star," said Dr. David Palmer of Los Alamos National Laboratory, lead
author on a paper describing the Swift observation. "We know of only two other
giant flares in the past 35 years, and this December event was one hundred
times more powerful."

Image/animation: Image 3: Radio data shows a very active area around

SGR1806-20. The Very Large Array radio telescope observed ejected material
from this Magnetar as it flew out into interstellar space. These observations in the
radio wavelength start about 7 days after the flare and continue for 20 days. They
show SGR1806-20 dimming in the radio spectrum.

Dr. Bryan Gaensler of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in

Cambridge, Mass., is lead author on a report describing the VLA observation,
which tracked the ejected material as it flew out into interstellar space. Other key
scientific teams are associated with radio telescopes in Australia, The
Netherlands, United Kingdom,
India and the United States, as
well as with NASA's High Energy
Solar Spectroscopic Imager

A neutron star is the core remains

of a star once several times more
massive than our Sun. When such
stars deplete their nuclear fuel,
they explode -- an event called a
supernova. The remaining core is
dense, fast-spinning, highly magnetic, and only about 15 miles in diameter.
Millions of neutron stars fill our Milky Way galaxy.

Image/animation: Image 4: SGR-1806 is an ultra-magnetic neutron star, called

a magnetar, located about 50,000 light years away from Earth in the constellation

Scientists have discovered about a dozen ultrahigh-magnetic neutron stars,

called magnetars. The magnetic field around a magnetar is about 1,000 trillion
gauss, strong enough to strip information from a credit card at a distance halfway
to the moon. (Ordinary neutron stars measure a mere trillion gauss; the Earth's
magnetic field is about 0.5 gauss.)

Four of these magnetars are also called soft gamma repeaters, or SGRs,
because they flare up randomly and release gamma rays. Such episodes release
about 10^30 to 10^35 watts for
about a second, or up to millions
of times more energy than our
Sun. For a tenth of a second, the
giant flare on SGR 1806-20
unleashed energy at a rate of
about 10^40 watts. The total
energy produced was more than
the Sun emits in 150,000 years.

Image/animation above: Image

5: Swift is a first-of-its-kind multi-
wavelength observatory dedicated
to the study of gamma ray burst
(GRB) science. Its three instruments will work together to observe GRBs and
afterglows in the gamma ray, X-ray, ultraviolet, and optical wavebands. Swift is
designed to solve the 35-year-old mystery of the origin of gamma-ray bursts.
Scientists believe GRB are the birth cries of black holes.
"The next biggest flare ever seen from any soft gamma repeater was peanuts
compared to this incredible December 27 event," said Gaensler. "Had this
happened within 10 light years of us, it would have severely damaged our
atmosphere. Fortunately, all the magnetars we know of are much farther away
than this."

A scientific debate raged in the 1980s over whether gamma-ray bursts were star
explosions from beyond our Galaxy or eruptions on nearby neutron stars. By the
late 1990s it became clear that gamma-ray bursts did indeed originate very far
away and that SGRs were a different phenomenon. But the extraordinary giant
flare on SGR 1806-20 reopens the debate, according to Dr. Chryssa Kouveliotou
of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, who coordinated the multiwavelength

Image/animation: Image 6:
NASA's Swift satellite was
successfully launched Saturday,
November 20, 2004 from the
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,
A sizeable percentage of "short"
gamma-ray bursts, less than two
seconds, could be SGR flares,
she said. These would come from
galaxies within about a 100 million
light years from Earth. (Long
gamma-ray bursts appear to be black-hole-forming star explosions billions of light
years away.)

"An answer to the 'short' gamma-ray burst mystery could come any day now that
Swift is in orbit", said Swift lead scientist Neil Gehrels. "Swift saw this event after
only about a month on the job."

Image left: High resolution, wide-field image of the area around SGR1806-20 as
seen in radio wavelength, without a location arrow. Credit: University of Hawaii.
Image right: A high resolution, wide-field image of the area around SGR1806-20
as seen in radio wavelength. SGR1806-20 can not be seen in this image
generated from earlier radio data taken when SGR1806-20 was “radio quiet.”
The arrow locates the position of SGR1806-20 within the image. Credit:
University of Hawaii.

Scientists around the world have been following the December 27 event.
RHESSI detected gamma rays and X-rays from the flare. Drs. Kevin Hurley and
Steven Boggs of the University of California, Berkeley, are leading the effort to
analyze these data. Dr. Robert Duncan of the University of Texas at Austin and
Dr. Christopher Thompson at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics
(University of Toronto) are the leading experts on magnetars, and they are
investigating the "short duration" gamma-ray burst relationship.
Brian Cameron, a graduate student at Caltech under the tutorage of Prof. Shri
Kulkarni, leads a second scientific paper based on VLA data. Amateur
astronomers detected the disturbance in the Earth's ionosphere and relayed this
information through the American Association of Variable Star Observers

Image: SGR 1806-20 is a "magnetar": a rapidly spinning neutron star that not
only has an incredible density, trillions of times greater than than ordinary matter,
but an incredibly strong magnetic
field. Tens of thousands of years
ago, a "starquake" fractured the
magnetar's surface. The result
was an explosive release of
energy, which sent a pulse of
gamma rays racing across the
cosmos at the speed of light.
Behind them came the explosion's
fireball, expanding in a lopsided
fashion at roughly one-third the
speed of light. The gamma rays
swept past the Earth on December 27, 2004, when they were detected by
NASA's Swift satellite. That initial signal faded away within minutes. But then
came a steady stream of radio waves from the fireball. Astronomers rushed to
ground-based radio telescopes such as NSF's Very Large Array outside Socorro,
New Mexico, where they have been studying the information-rich signal ever
since. -10

A few years later an even more powerful explosion, 12 billion light years away,
was reported

Most Powerful Cosmic Explosion – Space

by Staff Writers
Huntsville AL (SPX) Feb The first significant gamma-ray
burst detected by the LAT
24, 2009 (Fermi was lifted into orbit in
June), this burst bursts with
superlatives. When the analysis
Adam Goldstein's first day of spectral data collected by a
on the job tending the telescope on the ground was
finished in November, the
Gamma-ray Burst Monitor burst's "red shift" put its point of
(GBM) instrument on origin about 12 billion light years
from Earth.
NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray
Space Telescope was a doozy. A graduate physics student at The University of
Alabama in Huntsville, Goldstein was still learning the ropes the evening of Sept.

16, 2008, nearing the end of his 12-hour on-call shift when the GBM called his
cell phone to signal that a burst had been detected.

That in itself wasn't remarkable: GBM detects about one burst a day and it keeps
Goldstein's cell phone number handy, along with those of the other GBM team

This burst, however, lasted 23 minutes - almost 700 times as long as the two-
second average for high-energy gamma-ray bursts. And that was just for starters.
"I was in class the next morning when Alexander (van der Horst, a NASA post-
doctoral fellow) called me up and told me the LAT (Fermi's Large Area
Telescope) had found photons from that same burst," Goldstein recalls.
"At the time, when you get a burst you oooh and aaah but it's not until you can sit
down and do the spectral analysis that you know what you've found. And if
another instrument looked at it, then you've got the chance to do some real

The first significant gamma-ray burst detected by the LAT (Fermi was lifted into
orbit in June), this burst bursts with superlatives. When the analysis of spectral
data collected by a telescope on the ground was finished in November, the
burst's "red shift" put its point of origin about 12 billion light years from Earth.
(Seen from Earth it came from just below the star Chi Carinae in the southern

When that distance is factored with the burst's brightness at the Fermi sensors, it
becomes the most powerful gamma-ray event ever detected - four times as
powerful at the source as the second strongest burst ever detected, said Dr.
Valerie Connaughton, a scientist in UAHuntsville's Center for Space Plasma and
Aeronomic Research (CSPAR) and a member of the GBM team.

"This is the most spectacular burst ever seen at high energy," she said. "If the
event that caused this blew out in every direction instead of being a focused
beam, it would be equivalent to 4.9 times the mass of the sun being converted to
gamma rays in a matter of minutes."
This theory-bruising burst is the subject of research published in "Science
Express," the on-line scientific journal of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science.

A collaborative effort by more than 250 scientists around the world, it is the first
gamma-ray burst findings to be reported from the Fermi telescope.
The day after the burst, when Goldstein learned that his first burst was
noteworthy, he called his parents in Pineville, Missouri, to share the news that his
dreams were coming to fruition.

"The next day I talked to them when I found out what a big deal it was," said
Goldstein, who is completing a catalogue of gamma-ray burst data from an
earlier orbiting detector as part of his thesis research. "I have always wanted to
work with NASA, so for me this is an ideal place to be."

Goldstein's enthusiasm has spread to his family. One of the "honors" accorded a
scientist when a burst is seen on his or her shift is the responsibility of writing a
circular describing the burst's coordinates and characteristics for the Gamma-ray
burst Coordinates Network (GCN).

Since posting his description of the Sept. 16 burst, Goldstein said, his father
Scott has taken to routinely checking the GCN to see if his son has posted
anything new.

The Sept. 16 burst is a theory bender because theories developed to explain

gamma-ray bursts - believed to be the most powerful explosions since the Big
Bang - don't "allow" some of the behaviors seen by the Fermi instruments.
This includes the 23-minute duration. Roaring through space for 12 billion years
tends to s-t-r-e-t-c-h waves of electromagnetic energy. Accounting for that
stretching means the burst was a solid four minutes in duration when it was

"It is difficult to imagine keeping a central gamma-ray 'engine' active for that
period of time," said Dr. Michael Briggs, a CSPAR scientist and GBM team

Another problem is in the energy itself. Most gamma-ray bursts start hot with
high-energy gamma rays, then fade to progressively weaker rays. The Sept. 16
burst started "cool," with the high-energy gamma rays showing up almost five
seconds later. That wasn't expected.

And the burst had both high and low energy photons at the same time for about
200 seconds (also not expected), said Briggs. "It means everything that created
both sets of rays happened in the same space at the same time, which is very
difficult to explain."

After not quite three and a half minutes the cooler gamma rays became too weak
to detect, but the high-energy rays continued for at least 20 more minutes. (It was
still going when the burst moved out of the LAT's field of view.)

If the cataclysmic cosmic event that caused the burst was fading away, why
would the weaker gamma rays disappear while the strong ones stick around?
Gamma rays are at the highest end of the energy spectrum, with as much as one
million times as much energy per photon as X-rays. Gamma-ray bursts are
believed to come from dying stars that explode or collapse, potentially releasing
as much energy in a few seconds (or minutes) as our sun will generate in billions
of years.
Goldstein was the first (and is still the only) UAHuntsville graduate student to join
the GBM team but several post-doctoral students have joined since the success
of his first night, swelling the team to about ten. While the GBM instrument
notifies team members and other scientists around the world when it detects a
burst, someone has to be on-duty tending the instrument at all times.

This responsibility is rotated in 12-hour shifts between the team in UAHuntsville's

Cramer Hall and scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. – 11

Palaeontologists studying life forms before and after switch off’s and on’s claim
that life almost disappeared, and when becoming abundant again, look quite
different. Naturally, subterranean and sea life, especially deep sea life, are less
effected than surface life.

For now, the question is whether the sharp increase of the past few decades in
cases of autism, and also cancer, can be provably linked to the dwindling
electromagnetic field?

No one doubts that exposure to cosmic rays are harmful. In fact, to find more
suitable yeasts that can do more comprehensive fermentation of sugars yeasts
were exposed to fluorescent light to cause indiscriminate mutations. The more
beneficial are then selected, and so on until a suitable yeast is developed to be
economically viable to the ethanol industry.

Whether the link can be drawn beyond a trace of doubt between a seven
hundred percent increase in new cases of autism, of which apparently some 17
% can be attributed to better diagnostic methods and an expanded definition for
conditions included on the autism spectrum, and the decreasing electromagnetic
field falls outside the field of the geomorphologist.

There are some questions that need to asked though. For instance, in Belgium
the line to the south of which skin cancer occurs more frequently, had been
gradually moving further north. The impact is that budgets, such as the budgets
of hospitals, have to be constantly adjusted further north to accommodate the
more cases of skin cancer requiring treatment. In the Netherlands skin cancer is
also on the increase, and each summer it seems as though the number of days
on which ultraviolet warnings are issued, are on the increase.

Generally, the increased number of warning days are linked to global heating, but
as we saw earlier cosmoclimatologists believe global heating is at least partially
affected by the interaction of the electromagnetic field and sun activity.

Space Daily, 24 Feb 2009.
Genes and autism

Available literature, if combined, indicate a wide range of gene defects and

mutations, as well as chromosome problems such as deletions, to be associated
with conditions on the autistic spectrum. Some pop up in older literature, and
others in later literature.

In the year 2000 it was reported that a mutation of the HOXA1 gene in the 7th
chromosome was detected in 40 percent of those on the autistic spectrum who
were tested. This gene plays an important role in the early phase of brain
development. Researchers believe however that this mutation, on its own, does
not cause autism.
It is interesting that Chromosome 7 is also the home for Williams Syndrome, and
that both autism and Williams have cases of Savantism reported. Cases,
however, where the same person has Williams end autism seem to be extremely

In contrast to Rett’s Syndrome, more boys than girls are effected by autism than
girls. In 2005 a genetic mutation was detected in the 17Q21 area of the 17th
chromosome, causing autism with boys, but apparently not effecting girls.
Two years later a group of scientists from the University of California in Los
Angeles announced the identification of a group of genes associated with autism.
The variations noted were slight genome variations and deletion. Neurexin 1 on
the 11th chromosome was amongst others implicated. Neurexin 1 is associated
with the communication taking place between brain cells.
In announcing the findings the hope was expressed that this may contribute to
being addressed by gene therapy, noting successes with gene therapy on
mousse with Rett’s Syndrome.

In the report of 2000, the possibility of gene therapy for addressing the mutations
of the HOXA1 was rules out, unless some other conditions were met concerning
the understanding of how this effects the functioning of the brain.
The latest available research indicates that most genetic variations associated
with autism are to be found in the 15th chromosome, but they are also found in
the 5th, 11th and 16th. Earlier findings, such as those of the 17th and 22 q deletion
13.3 on the 22nd are not mentioned in this report.

A gene associated with speech – as compared between humans, Neanderthal

(not a direct ancestor of modern man but with a common origin) and
chimpanzees, FOXP2, is also under investigation as a non autistic related cause
for speech problems, but research is still in early stages. This may indicate that
humans had the ability to speak s far back as 300 000 years, and not 50 000
years as previously thought.

The following conditions are said to be associated with gene variations or

• Angelman syndrome
• Fragile X syndrome
• Isodicentric
• Neurofibromatosis type 1
• Prader/Willi/Angelman syndrome
• Rett-syndrome
• Smith-Lemli-Optiz syndrome
• Sotos syndrome
• Subtelomere

While we, as parents of autistic children are seeking answers, there are a host of
parents who are looking for answers along similar lines.

At this stage the news, as far as gene therapy as treatment for autism is not

Possible non-cosmic causes

There may be host of other factors which influence gene mutations as well, and
one should not blindly stare to the sun and cosmos to seek answers. At this stage
not al answers are found in the genes as well, and one should not rule out that
some other trauma, socio-economic factor or diet may combine with the gene
defects to cause autism related conditions.

Another possible source for genetic deviations may be traced back to pollution.
Some time ago, a paper by Dr, Anthony Turton, then of the CSSIR in South Africa
was banned. As he read this same paper at some occasions previously, it was
already on the internet and widely circulated. Among his references was the
occurrence of deformities of animals born in areas of severe water pollution.
More recently, it was reported that people with gender dualism were to be found in
areas where malaria was combated by using DDT. The athlete around whose
head a gender storm broke out after she won the World Championships 800 meter
title for women also comes from such an area.

For now, it seems, as though a cure for autism is some distance away, and
nothing can be done to stop the earth’s electro magnetic field from stopping. We
may compensate by doing our bit to keep the ozone layer intact, and we, as
humankind, may stop pollution.

With autism already having increased by 700 percent, and this increased
generation now heading for adult care centers, most certainly. Which country can
afford 1 in 150 or even, as in the case of Britain, 1 in less than a hundred, in adult
care centers – only counting those on the autistic spectrum?
But do we have leverage to somehow force the governments of the world to invest
in cleaner air and water, to assist in developing early diagnostic measures and the
funding of early intervention programs? On average the cost to a government of a
person who had no early intervention is around $10 million, but one third with early
intervention. But very few parents can afford the required $50 000 for early


If autism can not significantly be prevented and it can not be cured in the
foreseeable future, surely the daunting costs justify massive state assistance for
early diagnosis (if not at birth through genetic tests at least before the age of two)
and affordable access to early intervention programs. Many governments will not
be able to even remotely cover these costs, and a special UN fund should be

Planet Autism
In the year 2030 governments on earth realized that far too little planning had
been done to accommodate the mass influx of the new adult generation of
people living with autism. Systems could not cope with the 700 percent increase
in just over a decade, and budgets were totally insufficient. In fact, the economies
of governments on earth were on the verge of collapsing because of the
A heartless decision was taken, more expected from what is generally regarded
a typical autistic person. A new inhabitable planet was discovered in ‘n nearby
solar system, and all autistic people will be transported there with as much
means to survive as possible.
In total 20 million autistic people, ranging from two year old babies to aged
people, were bundled into the space ships and dropped of on the lone planet.
Three out of four were male, some were brothers, some were cousins, but mostly
totally unrelated.
Five years later the family and therapists could no longer bear the loneliness felt
by the departure of their special children or brothers and sisters, and another
expedition was sent.
Would they find any relative still alive? If they are still alive, what will they find?
Those sent away ranged from middle aged men and women still in nappies to
auditors living a near normal life. Earth had been stripped of some of its most
amazing people. Today the internet, computers and advanced search engines
such as Google bring virtually all information one needs – on Planet Autism there
are quite a few who have almost all that information in their heads, like one
knowing the total contents of his country’s state archives by heart.
One also knows that most family members and therapists would never leave
Planet Autism again.
Earth had been stripped of some of its best scientists, some of the best artists
ranging from music to painting to sculpturing.
But are these, mostly Aspergers, with Savantism enough to some how salvage
some sustainable society so that there will be survivors?
It is impossible to tell. But what one knows for sure: If there is society it will be
near crime free.
Buildings next to streets would probably have soft material at head height against
the walls so that those who whish to, can bang their heads at will.
And there will be millions heartbroken with longing to family they are attached
to… some will storm closer when the space ships land and hug their family,
smiling from ear to ear, some will show little more than a flicker in the eye, as
they find it impossible to express feelings the same way others do. But they will
be just as happy as the rest.
There will, despite autistic people generally having good memories, be a
remarkable lack of resentment as the tantrums to express this had been
numerous, but not now. Now is now.
But where is this Planet Autism?
It is hard to tell. With only a hand full of the probable 8 000 thousand cases in the
Free State out in the open, Planet Autism may be in back yards, in dark rooms
stripped of material that can be broken during tantrums. It may be institutions
where wrong diagnosis and treatment created a living dead.
Often the parents take the trip to Planet Autism with the children, sometimes
taking the rest of the family along, and so totally withdraw from social life.
Planet Autism may be the home or flat next door. It does not exist in another
dimension invisible from our range of sight, but it is blocked by some mental
condition called denialism.
But it is real.
And it is often visited by angels, if they are let in. Angels who take care of these
people, care for them with their entire hearts, and build very, very strong
relationships. They may be simple people angels offering only the most
important: love, but they may be therapists, doctors, hairdressers, teachers….
They are all a very special kind of angel and they would so dearly like to live on
or regularly visit Planet Autism.
Herman Toerien