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Your search has returned 122 articles:
  • News

    Common fungus may raise asthma risk

    BOSTON — A fungus among us may tip the body toward developing asthma.

    There’s mounting evidence that early exposure to microbes can protect against allergies and asthma (SN Online: 7/20/16). But “lo and behold, some fungi seem to put kids at risk for asthma,” microbiologist Brett Finlay said February 17 at a news conference during the annual meeting of the American Association for the...

    02/17/2017 - 17:57 Health, Immune Science, Human Development
  • Growth Curve

    Birth may not be a major microbe delivery event for babies

    Babies are born germy, and that’s a good thing. Our microbiomes — the microbes that live on and in us — are gaining cred as tiny but powerful keepers of our health.

    As microbes gain scientific stature, some scientists are trying to answer questions about how and when those germs first show up on babies. Birth itself may be an important microbe-delivery event, some researchers suspect. A...

    02/15/2017 - 12:13 Human Development, Health
  • News

    Physically abused kids learn to fail at social rules for success

    Physical abuse at home doesn’t just leave kids black and blue. It also bruises their ability to learn how to act at school and elsewhere, contributing to abused children’s well-documented behavior problems.

    Derailment of a basic form of social learning has, for the first time, been linked to these children’s misbehavior years down the line, psychologist Jamie Hanson of the University of...

    02/13/2017 - 12:00 Psychology, Mental Health, Human Development
  • Growth Curve

    Little jet-setters get jet lag too

    Sleep is at the top of the list of conversation starters among parents with young children. With our recent cross-country move west, my family added a twist on sleep deprivation: jet-lagged children. To get some clarity on this new horror, I called developmental social scientist A.J. Schwichtenberg of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

    Two main processes control sleep,...

    02/06/2017 - 13:00 Human Development, Health
  • Growth Curve

    A ban on screens in bedrooms may save kids’ sleep

    Most nights I read a book in bed to wind down. But when I run out of my library supply, I read articles on my phone instead. I suspect that this digital substitution messes with my sleep. That’s not good for me — but it’s probably worse for the many children who have screens in their rooms at night.A team of researchers recently combed through the literature looking for associations between...

    01/23/2017 - 16:35 Health, Human Development
  • Growth Curve

    Motherhood might actually improve memory

    You may have read the news this week that pregnancy shrinks a mother’s brain. As a mom-to-be’s midsection balloons, areas of her cerebral cortex wither, scientists reported online December 19 in Nature Neuroscience.

    Yes, that sounds bad. But don’t fret. As I learned in reporting that story, a smaller brain can be more efficient and specialized. In fact, post-pregnancy brains could be...

    12/21/2016 - 11:21 Human Development, Health, Neuroscience
  • Feature

    Year in review: Zika virus devastates Brazil and spreads fear across Americas

    A Brazilian mother cradles her baby girl under a bruised purple sky. The baby’s face is scrunched up, mouth open wide — like any other crying child. But her head is smaller than normal, as if her skull has collapsed above her eyebrows.

    A week earlier, not far away, a doctor wrapped a measuring tape around the forehead of a 1-month-old boy, held in the arms of his grandmother. This baby...

    12/14/2016 - 07:40 Health, Human Development
  • Growth Curve

    Database provides a rare peek at a human embryo’s first weeks

    When I first found out my daughter existed, she was about half the size of a mini chocolate chip.

    I was six weeks pregnant; she was four weeks into development. (The pregnancy timer officially begins two weeks before conception.) Already, the structures that would become her eyes had formed rudimentary orbs and the four tiny chambers of her heart were taking shape. At this stage of...

    12/06/2016 - 09:00 Human Development
  • News

    Sounds and glowing screens impair mouse brains

    SAN DIEGO — Mice raised in cages bombarded with glowing lights and sounds have profound brain abnormalities and behavioral trouble. Hours of daily stimulation led to behaviors reminiscent of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, scientists reported November 14 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

    Certain kinds of sensory stimulation, such as sights and sounds, are...

    11/15/2016 - 17:30 Neuroscience, Human Development
  • Growth Curve

    What not to do when your kid tells a lie

    At the ripe old age of 3, my older daughter has begun flirting with falsehoods. So far, the few lies she has told have been comically bad and easy to spot. Her dad and I usually laugh at them with an amused, “Oh, yeah?” But now that I’ve stopped to consider, that strategy seems flawed.

    While reporting a story on adult lying, I had the pleasure of talking with developmental psychologist...

    11/11/2016 - 09:00 Human Development, Neuroscience