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Music supports the auditory skills of hearing-impaired children
Researchers at University of Helsinki, Finland, and University College London have found evidence that children with hearing impairment and cochlear implants can benefit from hobbies involving music and especially singing. (2018-11-27)

Why your number of romantic partners mirrors your mother
A new national study shows that people whose mothers had more partners -- married or cohabiting -- often follow the same path. Results suggest that mothers may pass on personality traits and relationship skills that make their children more or less likely to form stable relationships. (2018-11-13)

Family tree of 400 million people shows genetics has limited influence on longevity
Although long life tends to run in families, genetics has far less influence on life span than previously thought, according to a new analysis of more than 400 million people. The results suggest that the heritability of life span is well below past estimates, which failed to account for our tendency to select partners with similar traits to our own. The research was published in GENETICS, a journal of the Genetics Society of America. (2018-11-06)

Was general anesthesia for surgery associated with risk of adverse child development in study of siblings?
Surgery under general anesthesia for young children before they started elementary school wasn't associated with increased risk of adverse child development outcomes compared with their biological siblings who didn't have surgery and after accounting for other potential biological and environmental factors. The study of children in Ontario, Canada, included 2,346 sibling pairs where only one sibling had surgery. (2018-11-05)

Blue crab baby sizes and shapes influence their survival
Like people, blue crabs aren't all the same sizes and shapes. Now Rutgers scientists have discovered substantial differences in the body structures of larval crab siblings and among larvae from different mothers. And that can mean the difference between an early death and survival into adulthood for this important commercial and recreational species. (2018-10-17)

Experts raise safety concerns about cardboard baby boxes
Cardboard baby boxes are being promoted for infant sleep as a safe alternative to more traditional cots, bassinets, or Moses baskets, without any evidence in place, warn experts in The BMJ today. (2018-10-17)

Unravelling the genetics of fungal fratricide
Selfish genes are genes that are passed on to the next generation but confer no advantage on the individual as a whole, and may sometimes be harmful. Researchers at Uppsala University have, for the first time, sequenced (or charted) two selfish genes in the fungus Neurospora intermedia that cause fungal spores to kill their siblings. Unexpectedly, the genes were not related to each other, perhaps indicating that selfish genes are more common than previously thought. (2018-10-15)

New research shows the multiple factors which determine how quickly diabetes progresses
New research presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) reveals the factors that influence the rate of progression of type 2 diabetes (T2D) which may explain why it varies so much between individuals. (2018-10-02)

First-born children more likely to learn about sex from parents
Birth order may play a significant role in how children learn about sex, especially for boys, according to a new study published in the journal Sex Education. (2018-09-27)

Mini video cameras offer peek at hard-to-observe bird behavior
Fledging behavior -- when and why baby birds leave the nest -- is something scientists know very little about. Rarely is someone watching a nest at just the right moment to see fledging happen. To get around this, the researchers behind a new study deployed miniature video cameras to monitor over 200 grassland bird nests in Alberta, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and they found that fledglings' decision-making process is more complex than anyone guessed. (2018-09-12)

Birds help each other partly for selfish reasons
Up to now, researchers have believed that birds stay at home and altruistically help raise younger siblings because this is the only way to pass on genes when you cannot breed yourself. But this idea is only partially true. A new study from Lund University in Sweden shows that birds benefit from being helpful because it also increases their chances of reproducing in the future. (2018-09-10)

Higher depression risk in young adulthood associated with autism spectrum disorders
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD), especially without an accompanying intellectual disability, were associated with greater risk for depression in young adulthood compared with the general population and siblings without ASD. (2018-08-31)

Scarlet macaw DNA points to ancient breeding operation in Southwest
Somewhere in the American Southwest or northern Mexico, there are probably the ruins of a scarlet macaw breeding operation dating to between 900 and 1200 C.E., according to a team of archaeologists who sequenced the mitochondrial DNA of bird remains found in the Chaco Canyon and Mimbres areas of New Mexico. (2018-08-13)

Risk-taking, antisocial teens 5 times more likely to die young
Adolescents with serious conduct and substance use problems are five times more likely to die prematurely than their peers, with roughly one in 20 dying by their 30s, according to new CU Boulder research. (2018-08-10)

US juveniles with conduct problems face high risk of premature death
We already know that adolescents with conduct and/or substance use problems are at increased risk for premature death. This prospective study of more than 3,700 US juveniles discovered that there is an independent association between conduct disorder and mortality hazard. In other words, the connection between conduct disorder and risk of early death appears to exist even when other contributing factors such as sex, ethnicity, familial factors, and substance use are removed. (2018-08-09)

Do mothers' parenting attitudes & behaviors change with their first- and second-born?
New research reveals that mothers hold similar views and attitudes when parenting their first and second children, but their parenting behaviors with their two children differ. (2018-08-08)

Solution to medical mystery may help some children avoid bone marrow transplantation
Researchers have helped solve a decades-old mystery about which mutations are responsible for an inherited bone marrow disorder. The answer may allow some children to avoid the risk and expense of bone marrow transplantation, a common treatment for leukemia and bone marrow disorders. Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and UCSF, led the study, which appears today in the scientific journal JCI Insight.The disorder is myelodysplasia and leukemia syndrome with monosomy 7. (2018-07-26)

Astronomers find a famous exoplanet's doppelganger
One object has long been known: the 13-Jupiter-mass planet beta Pictoris b, one of the first planets discovered by direct imaging, back in 2009. The new object, dubbed 2MASS 0249 c, has the same mass, brightness, and spectrum as beta Pictoris b. (2018-07-16)

Many survivors of childhood cancer are unconcerned about their future health
New findings suggest that many survivors of childhood cancer may not fully understand or acknowledge their increased risks for later health problems. (2018-06-28)

Are gestational age at birth and symptoms of ADHD associated?
Early premature birth at less than 34 weeks was associated with symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in preschool-age children and inattention symptoms in school-age children. (2018-06-25)

'Substantial portion' of childhood cancer survivors not concerned about future health
A research team led by a St. Jude Children's Research Hospital epidemiologist has conducted the largest analysis to date of how adult survivors of childhood cancer view their health risk. The scientists found that a surprisingly high number of survivors showed a lack of concern for their future well-being. The analysis of questionnaire data from 15,620 survivors found that 31 percent said they were not concerned about their future health and 40 percent were unconcerned about developing new cancers. (2018-06-25)

Strong sibling bond protects against negative effects of fighting parents
Generally, children who experience recurrent destructive conflicts between their parents are at a higher risk of developing mental health problems. However, a new longitudinal study published in Child Development finds that strong sibling bonds can offset the negative effects of parental strife. (2018-06-22)

Having stress-related disorder associated with increased risk of developing autoimmune disease
Stress-related disorders brought on by traumatic or stressful life events were associated with increased risk of developing an autoimmune disease. (2018-06-19)

Childhood sibling dynamics may predict differences in college education
The effects of sibling relationships may go beyond childhood bickering and bonding, according to Penn State researchers who found that these relationships may predict similarities and differences in siblings' education later in life. (2018-06-18)

Study suggests siblings of people with RA are at increased risk of acute coronary syndrome
The results of a study presented today at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2018) demonstrate an increased risk of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in siblings of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), suggesting shared susceptibility between the two diseases. (2018-06-15)

Children with neuroblastoma have an elevated risk of long-term psychological difficulties
A new study reveals that pediatric neuroblastoma patients are at elevated risk for long-term psychological impairment. In addition, those who experience such impairment as they get older tend to require special education services and to not go on to college. The findings are published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. (2018-06-11)

Framework identifies genetic missense mutations linked to autism spectrum disorder
A new study published in Nature Genetics established a computationally integrated approach to investigate the functional impact of missense mutations. (2018-06-11)

Childhood cancer survivors more likely to experience sleep problems as adults
Preliminary results from a study of childhood cancer survivors show that they are more likely to experience sleep problems and daytime sleepiness as adults, and those who report poor sleep have a greater likelihood of persistent or worsened emotional distress. (2018-06-04)

People with OCD process emotions differently than their unaffected siblings
A new study in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging reports that people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) feel more distress when viewing images to provoke OCD-related emotions than their unaffected siblings. Although the unaffected siblings showed lower levels of distress, they had higher levels of brain activity in regions important for attention. The findings suggest that the family members may draw on additional brain resources to compensate for potential abnormalities in emotion regulation. (2018-05-09)

New study links strong pupillary light reflex in infancy to later autism diagnosis
A new study published in Nature Communications shows that infants who are later diagnosed with autism react more strongly to sudden changes in light. This finding provides support for the view that sensory processing plays an important role in the development of the disorder. (2018-05-07)

Risk factors involved in the early onset and severity of childhood obesity
A family history of obesity, high blood pressure and lipid levels, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease should all be considered high risk factors for the severity and early onset of childhood obesity, reveals a new study. The study, which assessed these risk factors together from children's parents, siblings and grandparents, also finds the most severely obese children -- even the very young -- show insulin resistance, which can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. (2018-05-02)

Siblings' experiences in middle childhood predict differences in college graduation status
Graduating from college has significant implications for adults' long-term success, including employment, family formation, and health. A new longitudinal study found that when siblings in middle childhood experienced less warmth in their relationships with each other, spent different amounts of time with their fathers, or thought their parents treated them unfairly relative to their siblings, they were more likely to differ in their college graduation status (i.e., graduating versus not graduating). (2018-04-17)

Modeling prosocial behavior increases helping in 16-month-olds
Shortly after they turn 1, most babies begin to help others, whether by handing their mother an object out of her reach or giving a sibling a toy that has fallen. Researchers have long studied how this helping behavior develops, but why it develops has been examined less. A new study looked at the role of imitation to find that when 16-month-olds observe others' helping behavior, they're more likely to be helpful themselves. (2018-04-17)

Vaccination rates for children with autism spectrum disorder, their younger siblings
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their younger siblings were less likely to be fully vaccinated compared with the general population. (2018-03-26)

Children with autism and their younger siblings less likely to be fully vaccinated
Children with autism and their younger siblings are significantly less likely to be fully vaccinated than the general population, according to new Kaiser Permanente research published today in JAMA Pediatrics. (2018-03-26)

Animals shield their families from a harsh world
Animals living in volatile habitats can gain major evolutionary benefits by shielding their families from the changing environment, new research suggests. Biologists from the University of Bristol, the University of Exeter and UCL investigated an overlooked reason for widespread cooperation amongst animals. In a study published today in Nature, the team showed that when the environment is prone to fluctuate unexpectedly, staying at home to help raise relatives can be much better than going solo. (2018-03-07)

Younger and older siblings contribute positively to each other's developing empathy
A new longitudinal study looked at whether younger siblings also contribute to their older sisters' and brothers' empathy in early childhood, when empathic tendencies begin to develop. The research found that beyond the influence of parents, both older and younger siblings positively influence each other's empathic concern over time. (2018-02-20)

Team identify genetic targets for autism spectrum disorder
Early detection of autism in children is key to producing the best outcomes; however, searching for the genetic causes of autism is complicated by various symptoms found within the spectrum. Now, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers at the University of Missouri created a new computational method that has connected several target genes to autism. Discoveries could lead to screening tools for young children and could help doctors determine correct interventions when diagnosing autism. (2018-02-19)

Sibling bullying makes psychotic disorders three times more likely
People who were bullied by siblings during childhood are up to three times more likely to develop psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia in early adulthood, according to new research by the University of Warwick. (2018-02-12)

For the first time in humans, Zika syndrome susceptibility linked to genetic background
About 6 percent to 12 percent of the babies born from mothers infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy will have the CZS. (2018-02-02)

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