According to recent research by scientists from the University of New Mexico, children born in areas with high rates of infectious disease tend to have a lower average intellegence than those born in areas with a lower disease burden. The research suggests that the body’s metabolic energy needed for optimal brain development is depleted in the constant fight against pathogens. Conversely, as disease agents are conquered, average intelligence in children in previously-affected areas should rise.

To read the full article in the Economist, click here.