Scientists Discover Gene with Strong Link to Autism

by 07/08/14   filed under: health & body, kids health, news

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Over the years, in the quest to find out what, if any one thing causes Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), most researchers have been stumped. Now however, scientists from 13 institutions around the world, recently discovered that people with a mutation of the CHD8 gene have a ‘very strong’ likelihood of having autism. This gene mutation comes with some common characteristics, setting it apart from other genes, including gastrointestinal disorders, a larger head and wide set eyes. The team of researchers resequenced the ASD-associated gene CHD8 in 3,730 children with developmental delay or ASD and managed to identify a total of 15 independent mutations. Beyond individuals with this gene presenting with a high likelihood of ASD diagnosis, the subjects also had like-minded characteristics such as macrocephaly, distinct faces, and gastrointestinal complaints. Lead author of the new research, Raphael Bernier, told Daily Mail, “We finally got a clear cut case of an autism specific gene. This will be a game changer in the way scientists are researching autism.” The only downside to this breakthrough discovery is that fewer than half of all kids with autism, will have the specific kind of autism related to the CHD8 mutation. Still though, this research will likely lead to more findings based on genetic testing, plus of course, the kids with this CHD8 mutation may be able to receive more targeted treatments, earlier on.

RELATED | Top 10 Chemicals Most Likely to Cause Autism

+ Disruptive CHD8 Mutations Define a Subtype of Autism Early in Development

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Lead image via Shutterstock

 

BOOK REVIEW: Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids: His Life and Ideas

by 07/08/14   filed under: books

frank lloyd wright, book review, green design, design

Everything from blocks to alphabet cards have been designed to organically introduce babies and toddlers to the works of great artists, engineers, and architects. But as kids get older, introducing them to prominent creative types gets a little trickier. After all, who wants to make their kids feel like they are going to school during the hours they have at home? The revised and expanded edition of Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids: His Life and Ideas is a creative and fun way for kids to read about and experience hands-on the genius of an American architect and dreamer. Through well-organized chapters and observational and active lessons, kids will learn the basics behind Lloyd Wright’s life and become inspired to create in a multitude of ways.

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Seasonal Summer Salad: Black Bean, Corn, and Blueberry

by 07/07/14   filed under: cooking, green family, how-to, recipes, vegetarianism

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Infants Exposed to Dirt, Dander and Bacteria May Have Decreased Risks of Asthma and Allergies

by 07/07/14   filed under: green family, health & body, kids health, news

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The idea that regular exposure to dirt, grime and the great outdoors in general is very healthy for kids is nothing new, but now a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded study goes one step further, touting the benefits of allergens and bacteria exposure. The study, led by Susan V. Lynch, PhD, and Robert A. Wood, MD, FAAAAI, examined inner-city children in Baltimore, Boston, New York and St. Louis, and found that kids with the highest exposure to allergens and bacteria during their first year of life had a smaller chance of later developing allergies and asthma. Children in the study who were frequently exposed to allergens and bacteria had fewer instances of recurrent wheeze and allergic sensitization, important precursors to asthma and allergies. The researchers note that yes, it’s true that allergen-rich or bacteria-rich environments usually equal higher overall allergy and asthma rates for kids, but timing can be key. The researchers say, if children experience allergen-rich or bacteria-rich environments BEFORE their first birthday, they may actually benefit from it. “The immune system develops very rapidly in the first months of life so it makes sense that the timing of exposures early in life could be the most important,” Wood said.

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Wild Fox Photography by Roeselien Raimond Reveals the Lovable Personalities of the Sly Mammals

by 07/07/14   filed under: art

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HOW TO: Make Flour-Free Faux-Pasta Zucchini Lasagna

by 07/06/14   filed under: how-to, recipe, vegan cooking

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Korxx Sustainable Cork Blocks Make for a Quiet and Creative Building Playtime

by 07/05/14   filed under: eco play, eco toddler, green kids, green toys, kids entertainment

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Building blocks are a foundational childhood toy, yet we love how people keep creating new versions with lots of variations. Korxx’s blocks are made from sustainable cork and are safe for small kiddos to stack and build with since they are free of chemicals and have a texture that makes stacking easy and slip-resistant. The pressed cork blocks, which are available in square and rectangular shapes as well as oval and circular pieces, are free from phthalates, dioxins, formaldehyde and come in a natural color or multicolored vibrant hues. Available in a variety of sizes and sets, the blocks come in a reusable bag or a wood box for storage. These light stackers also have the benefit of being quiet as they tumble to the ground, which means one less loud crash contributing to the soundtrack of life with kids.

+ Korxx 

 

7 Surprising Summer Remedies Sitting in Your Refrigerator

by 07/04/14   filed under: baby feeding, cooking, food, health & body, healthy recipe, kids health, parenting, recipe, recipes, vegetarian

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Toddlers Will Delight in Toys 'From the Seeds'

Toddlers Will Delight in Toys 'From the Seeds'

TweetEmailImaginative Toys from the seeds owner Amber notes that she strives to design and create open ended, long-lasting toys that encourage exploration and pretending so…

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Eco-friendly Family Companies Whose Products are Made in the USA

Eco-friendly Family Companies Whose Products are Made in the USA

Green Toys Green Toys is a unique toy company that uses recycled milk jugs to create their products. All of their products are produced and manufactured in California. Green Toys makes…

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HOW TO: Make an Easy Fourth of July Vegetarian Feast

HOW TO: Make an Easy Fourth of July Vegetarian Feast

TweetEmailPaninis Sure, panini might seem like a fancy word for sandwich, but paninis are truly so much more. Crisped bread and fillings smooshed together make a tasty meal,…

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HOW TO: Make a Festive Fourth of July Frozen Yogurt Fruit Pie

HOW TO: Make a Festive Fourth of July Frozen Yogurt Fruit Pie

TweetEmail 1. Gather the ingredients. Ingredients: 12 oz of vanilla yogurt (I used coconut milk yogurt to make the recipe vegan, but any yogurt, preferably one low in sugar,…

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Unstructured Playtime May Be Key to Helping Kids Achieve Independence and Success

Unstructured Playtime May Be Key to Helping Kids Achieve Independence and Success

TweetEmail Summertime: the term once conjured up dreamy visions of kids biking or swimming, playing with their friends, camping out with s’mores, and generally reveling in…

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10 Breathtaking Tree Canopies & Natural Tunnels that Look Like Scenes from a Fairy Tale

10 Breathtaking Tree Canopies & Natural Tunnels that Look Like Scenes from a Fairy Tale

TweetEmail 1. Wisteria Tunnel – Japan In late April and early May, Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu, Japan, becomes a magical fairy land. Wisteria is an ornamental…

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Creamy Corn Ice Cream Recipe: A Surprisingly Simple and Tasty Seasonal Treat

Creamy Corn Ice Cream Recipe: A Surprisingly Simple and Tasty Seasonal Treat

TweetEmailWhat You Need Makes 4 servings, each 1/2 cup Kernels from 2 ears of corn (do not use canned corn) 1 cup milk (I used soy) 1/2 cup coconut cream (To get the cream,…

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5 Herbal Tea Recipes for Toddler Tea Parties

5 Herbal Tea Recipes for Toddler Tea Parties

1. Chamomile Chamomile tea is a perfect introductory tea for little ones, because it’s safe at almost any age. It also makes a really good bedtime treat. This herbal tea, made from…

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AAP Recommends that Parents Read Aloud to Their Children from Birth Onward

AAP Recommends that Parents Read Aloud to Their Children from Birth Onward

TweetEmailNew parents can expect a little extra advice from now on at well-baby check-ups, as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has announced that all parents should…

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HOW TO: Make Chewy Sweet & Salty Banana Bites

HOW TO: Make Chewy Sweet & Salty Banana Bites

TweetEmail1. Gather the ingredients 2 under ripe bananas sprinkling of black pepper marine salt to taste enough sunflower oil to bake or fry the bananas without letting…

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