Daily News Roundup

New Gene for Childhood Cancer Neuroblastoma Is Discovered
Pediatric cancer researchers have identified variations in a gene as important contributors to neuroblastoma, the most common solid cancer of early childhood. The study team, led by researchers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, found that common variants in the LMO1 gene increase the risk of developing an aggressive form of neuroblastoma, and also mark the gene for continuing to drive the cancer’s progression once it forms. [Science Daily]

Philadelphia No. 1 in Rate of Children Who Smoke
Eighty percent of stores that sell cigarettes are located within 1,000 feet of a school. Kids who try to buy tobacco succeed 20 percent of the time. Merchants who sell illegally to people under 18 are mailed a $100 ticket for the first, second, or even seventh violation. The result, officials say, is the highest youth-smoking rate among comparable big cities – a statistic that City Council is expected to attack Thursday by raising the fine for underage sales to $250 and streamlining the process to temporarily shutter businesses after three violations. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act Stalls in House
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act stalled in the House of Representatives on Wednesday. Opponents of the bill added a requirement that child care workers submit to background checks. It seems a reasonable enough demand – screening child care workers is important to ensure the safety of children, although I thought background checks on child care workers were routine these days – except that this last minute addition has nothing to do with feeding hungry schoolchildren. [Eat Drink Better]

Parents ‘Face Barriers’ In Seeking Help For Their Child’s Mental Health Problems
New research suggests parents may be deterred from seeking help for their children’s mental health problems because of embarrassment, stigma, and the fear of their child being ‘labelled’. They may also find it difficult to get an appointment with their GP, or feel unable to raise their concerns during a short appointment. [Medical News Today]

Link Between The Legalizing Of Child Pornography And Lower Rates Of Child Sex Abuse
Results from the Czech Republic showed, as seen everywhere else studied (Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sweden, USA), that rape and other sex crimes have not increased following the legalization and wide availability of pornography. And most significantly, the incidence of child sex abuse has fallen considerably since 1989, when child pornography became readily accessible – a phenomenon also seen in Denmark and Japan. Their findings are published online in Springer’s journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. [Medical News Today]

Brain Scans Detect Autism’s Signature
An autism study by Yale School of Medicine researchers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has identified a pattern of brain activity that may characterize the genetic vulnerability to developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). [Science Daily]

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