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Children need quiet environments to help early brain development
May 24, 2023
A group of small children sits cross-legged with their teacher, Steve Mejía-Menendez, on a round carpet. He’s a pre-K teacher at Lee Montessori Public Charter School’s campus in Southeast Washington, D.C., and although I’m here to meet him, I almost don’t spot him because he’s eye level with his students.
Mr. Steve, as he’s known here, is talking a few students through a geometry lesson when another student approaches to ask an unrelated question. This kind of distraction happens all the time in classrooms around the United States. Mr. Steve doesn’t lose focus. He uses American Sign Language to say “wait” — palms facing up, fingers wiggling — and the child waits quietly. When the lesson arrives at a natural stopping point, the student is invited to ask his question, and Mr. Steve silently responds by nodding his head along with his fist, which is sign language for “yes.”Read More…
May 9, 2023
The United States Preventive Services Task Force on Tuesday created new draft guidelines recommending all women begin screening mammography at age 40, a decade earlier than previous guidelines, and continue screenings every other year until age 74.
The change is bound to be controversial, adding fresh fuel to a long-standing debate around when people should begin breast cancer screening, how often they should do it, and if specific groups, such as Black women, ought to be screened differently.Read More…
May 8, 2023
A common genus of microbe found in wet, boggy environments could play a key role in the development of Parkinson’s disease, by excreting compounds that trigger proteins inside brain cells to form toxic clumps.
The findings, made by a small team of researchers at the University of Helsinki and the University of Eastern Finland, build on the results of an earlier investigation showing that the severity of the neurodegenerative disorder in volunteers increased with concentrations of Desulfovibrio bacterial strains in their feces.
By now demonstrating a potential path from the presence of the bacteria in genetically edited worms to physical changes in the brain that coincide with Parkinson’s disease, the researchers hope to one day improve early diagnosis of the disease in humans, or even slow its progress.Read More…
May 8, 2023
If you have been looking for a sense of pandemic closure, the World Health Organization’s declaration Friday that it was ending the Covid global health emergency was about as close to it as you are likely to get. The reality is that although battlefield metaphors are often employed to describe humankind’s struggle with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, there will be no 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month-like moment signaling that an armistice has been achieved. There are no fixed borders between a pandemic, when a pathogen is new to humans and causing wide scale disease and often high levels of death, and the ensuing endemic phase, when the disease has settled into something that our immune systems can better cope with, explained Marc Lipsitch, an infectious diseases epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health.