Posts Tagged ‘ genetics ’

Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

New Autism-Related Gene Variants Discovered
Genetics researchers have identified 25 additional copy number variations (CNVs) — missing or duplicated stretches of DNA — that occur in some patients with autism. These CNVs, say the researchers, are “high impact”: although individually rare, each has a strong effect in raising an individual’s risk for autism. (via Science Daily)

Colicky Babies May Have Wrong Bacteria
Doctors don’t clearly understand why some babies cry excessively and others don’t, but a new study suggests abnormal gut bacteria could play a role. (via My Health News Daily)

Fast Food Linked to Asthma and Allergies in Kids
Obesity isn’t the only potential toll that dinner from the drive-thru may have on your health. It’s not just your waistline that may pay a price for eating fast food meals three or more times a week, but your immune system as well. (via TIME)

Docs Should Know About Kids and Alternative Medicine
Your child’s pediatrician isn’t likely to ask whether you are giving your youngsters herbs or treating them to acupuncture. But enough children are now using alternative therapies that physicians should be inquiring about it, and parents need to volunteer information about any complementary medicine approaches their children are using to avoid any potential harmful interactions with conventional treatments. (via TIME)

Parents Television Council Blasts Torture Scene in ABC’s Scandal-Group Calls for Reform In TV Rating System
ABC could have had better timing. On the same night the entertainment industry was meeting with VP Joe Biden to discuss media violence, the network aired an episode of Scandal that included a graphic, three-minute torture scene.
The coincidence didn’t get by the Parents Television Council, which pointed to the episode as another example of a “failed [TV] ratings system.” (via Adweek)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Pediatricians Call For Strict Gun Laws to Protect Kids
Pediatricians are calling for the strictest possible regulation of gun sales, as well as more education for parents on the dangers of having a gun at home, to prevent deaths of kids and teens. (via Fox News)

Genes and Immune System Shaped by Childhood Poverty, Stress
A new study has revealed that childhood poverty, stress as an adult, and demographics such as age, sex and ethnicity, all leave an imprint on a person’s genes. And, that this imprint could play a role in our immune response. (via ScienceDaily)

Laundry Detergent Pods an ‘Emerging Public Health Hazard’ Among Kids
There’s a new warning for parents who use laundry pods about how kids are mistaking them for bright, colorful candy and eating them. (via ABC News)

Family Whooping Cough Shots May Protect Babies
Vaccinating moms and older siblings against whooping cough may prevent infants from coming down with the infection, a new study suggests. (via Reuters)

Smucker’s Uncrustables Sold to Schools Recalled
Officials have told school lunch programs across the country to check to see whether they have any Smucker’s Uncrustables sandwiches that might contain peanut butter made by a New Mexico company that is being recalled because of potential salmonella contamination. (via AP)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Doing The Math Behind Homeschooling
A growing number of Americans are choosing not to send their children off to school, opting instead to educate them at home. (via CNN)

New Code Aims to Ease Suspensions of Students
New York City public-school students can no longer be suspended for one-time, low-level infractions, and the youngest pupils can be suspended only for 5 days for midlevel offenses, down from 10, according to new disciplinary rules posted by the Education Department this week. (via New York Times)

Genes May Determine How We Vote
New genetic studies find that nature may be playing as significant a role as nurture when it comes to political traits (via ABC)

Evidence Weak That Vocational Programs Help Young Adults with Autism
A new study finds there’s little science to backup the efficacy of current methods used to help young adults with these neurodevelopmental disorders segue into the workforce. (via CNN)

Normal Tot or Problem Child? Tantrums May Hold Clue
It’s common for young children to have a temper tantrum from time to time, but daily tantrums are uncommon enough to be a possible sign of worrisome behavior problems, a new study finds. (via Today)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Clinical Trial Is Favorable for a Prenatal Gene Test
A new method of prenatal testing that can detect more genetic problems in a fetus than ever before could be headed toward wider use after encouraging results from a clinical trial, researchers say. The new technique surpassed standard testing in detecting chromosomal abnormalities, the study found. (via NY Times)

Fertility Treatments May Put Women At Risk for PTSD Symptoms, Study Suggests
Women who undergo fertility treatments may find the situation so distressing that they develop post-traumatic stress disorder, a new study says. In the study, close to 50 percent of participants met the official criteria for PTSD, meaning they could be diagnosed with the condition. (via MSNBC)

Diabetes and the Obesity Paradox
Type 2 diabetes, a condition widely thought of as a disease of the overweight and sedentary, also develops in people who aren’t overweight—and it may be more deadly. Scientists found those who were of normal weight around the time of their diagnoses were twice as likely to die within the same period. (via NY Times)

Boys Appear to Be More Vulnerable Than Girls to the Insecticide Chlorpyrifos
A new study found, at age 7, boys had greater difficulty working memory, a key component of IQ, than girls with similar prenatal exposure to the insecticide chlorpyrifos. Having nurturing parents improved working memory, especially in boys, though it didn’t lessen the negative effects of exposure. (via Science Daily)

Air Pollution Linked to Stillbirth Risk
Air pollution has been linked to a number of breathing problems, mainly in developing countries, and now a new preliminary study looking at pollution levels in New Jersey has found an increased risk of stillbirths among women exposed to certain pollutants. (via NBC News)

Stressed People Use Different Strategies and Brain Regions
Researchers have found stressed and non-stressed people use different brain regions and different strategies when learning. Non-stressed individuals applied a deliberate learning strategy, while stressed subjects relied more on their gut feeling. (via Science Daily)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Nearly Half of Newborns At Tennessee Hospital Need Prescription Drug Withdrawal Treatment
Out of the 58 babies in East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s NICU, 23 of them are going through withdrawal from prescription pills, including OxyContin, Vicodin, and methadone. (via ABC News)

Rare Genetic Mutation Protects Against Alzheimer’s
The mutation appears to slow the production of the beta-amyloid protein, long considered to be the cause of Alzheimer’s. Researchers say a genetic test for the mutation is unlikely because it’s so rare and the mutation could be exclusive to the Icelandic population. (via CNN)

Growing IVF Loan Business Helps Families Finance Their Fertility
Many families are turning to fertility finance companies to help fund their IVF cycles when they’re faced with limited funding and their insurance company won’t cover the costs. (via MSNBC)

485,000 High Chairs Recalled After Injury Reports
More than 485,000 Chico Polly high chairs are being recalled after a design flaw led to children getting cuts and bruises. Importer Artsana USA Inc. knows of 21 children getting injured from falling against pegs on the back legs of the chairs, which are meant to store the tray. (via Associated Press)

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National Geographic: Studying Twins Could Reveal A Lot About All of Us

Friday, January 20th, 2012

My twin sister and I (left) are polar opposites: She’s great at science and math, I’m terrible at both. I live in New York City, she lives in a Midwestern suburb. I’m a night owl, she’s a morning person. And so on. But despite our differences, we know for certain that we’re identical twins. We were born at 28 weeks, an incredibly early gestational age even for twins, with  Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, a disease of the placenta that affects only identical twin pregnancies. As a result of the syndrome, I was born at 3 lbs, 12 ozs, with most of the blood; my sister was born at 2 lbs, 12 ozs, with virtually none. After Erin received blood transfusions and we spent 8 and 6 weeks, respectively, in the NICU, we went home without any lasting ill effects from the syndrome.

Our parents, friends, and even strangers have spent a lot of time analyzing how my sister and I differ, and if you’re a twin you know that these comparisons are humorous at best and intrusive at worst.  But as it turns out, there’s good reason for scientists to explore how identical twins differ. In “A Thing or Two About Twins,” which appears in this month’s National Geographic magazine, writer Peter Miller offers an in-depth look at how studies of twins can help scientists “untangle the influence of genes and the environment.”

“Because identical twins come from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, they share virtually the same genetic code. Any differences between them—one twin having younger looking skin, for example—must be due to environmental factors such as less time spent in the sun.

Alternatively, by comparing the experiences of identical twins with those of fraternal twins, who come from separate eggs and share on average half their DNA, researchers can quantify the extent to which our genes affect our lives. If identical twins are more similar to each other with respect to an ailment than fraternal twins are, then vulnerability to the disease must be rooted at least in part in heredity.”

It’s a fascinating read and the portraits of twins by photographer Martin Schoeller are stunning–take a look if you have a minute. (Full disclosure: I was an editor at National Geographic Traveler for nearly 6 years, but I don’t know the author of this article.)

Are you a twin, or the parent of twins? Share how you and your twin (or how your twins) differ here!

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