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No link between prenatal mercury exposure and autism-like behaviors found

No Link Between Prenatal Mercury Exposure and Autism-Like Behaviors Found

The potential impact of exposure to low levels of mercury on the developing brain — specifically by women consuming fish during pregnancy — has long been the source of concern and some have argued that the chemical may be responsible for behavioral disorders such as autism. However, a new study that draws upon more than 30 years of research in the Republic of Seychelles reports that there is no association between pre-natal mercury exposure and autism-like behaviors. (Credit: © Yoram Astrakhan / Fotolia)

“This study shows no evidence of a correlation between low level mercury exposure and autism spectrum-like behaviors among children whose mothers ate, on average, up to 12 meals of fish each week during pregnancy,” said Edwin van Wijngaarden, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center‘s (URMC) Department of Public Health Sciences and lead author of the study which appears online today in the journal Epidemiology. “These findings contribute to the growing body of literature that suggest that exposure to the chemical does not play an important role in the onset of these behaviors.”

The debate over fish consumption has long created a dilemma for expecting mothers and physicians. Fish are high in beneficial nutrients such as, selenium, vitamin E, lean protein, and omega-3 fatty acids; the latter are essential to brain development. At the same time, exposure to high levels of mercury has been shown to lead to developmental problems, leading to the claim that mothers are exposing their unborn children to serious neurological impairment by eating fish during pregnancy. Despite the fact that the developmental consequences of low level exposure remain unknown, some organizations, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, have recommended that pregnant women limit their consumption of fish.

“The Seychelles study was designed to follow a population over a very long period of time and focus on relevant mercury exposure,” said Philip Davidson, Ph.D., principal investigator of the Seychelles Child Development Study and professor emeritus in Pediatrics at URMC. “While the amount of fish consumed in the Seychelles is significantly higher than other countries in the industrialized world, it is still considered low level exposure.”

… lends further evidence to an emerging belief that the “good” may outweigh the possible “bad” when it comes to fish consumption during pregnancy. Specifically, if mercury does adversely influence child development at these levels of exposure then the benefits of the nutrients found in the fish may counteract or perhaps even supersede the potential negative effects of the mercury.

“This study shows no consistent association in children with mothers with mercury level that were six to ten times higher than those found in the U.S. and Europe,” said Davidson. “This is a sentinel population and if it does not exist here than it probably does not exist.”

Read entire article at ScienceDaily.

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‘Most Threatened’ Tribe Sees No Relief from Illegal Loggers | LiveScience

A young Awá girl from Juriti eats papaya, Brazil. CREDIT: ©Sarah Shenker/Survival

A deadline to remove illegal loggers and settlers from the lands of one of the most threatened tribes on Earth appears poised to pass without action in Brazil.

The Awá, a tribe of about 450, have won multiple legal battles granting them the rights to their territory, which are also guaranteed in the Brazilian constitution. But enforcement of those rights has been lacking, with reports of illegal logging camps operating only 3 miles (5 kilometers) from one Awá settlement.

“It’s a complete joke, really,” said Sarah Shenker, a Brazilian campaigner for Survival International, a group that advocates for the rights of indigenous people.

A judge, in a declaration published in March 2012, ordered the eviction of illegal loggers, settlers and ranchers from Awá land within a year. Even with the March 31 deadline approaching, no one has been removed.”

Read more @ ‘Most Threatened’ Tribe Sees No Relief from Illegal Loggers | LiveScience.

The Boy’s Slumbering Mind

“I dreamed there were a whole bunch of fireworks that shot to the sky and exploded. They made a big picture of Mickey’s face.”

tick tock

I feel tired and old. The years are pressing on me. All l thirty-three of them are weighing heavily on me, all the twists and turns of a life spent merely existing, hiding. I have regrets. Fear drowns hope with exaggerated faults. Could have, would have… should have… didn’t. I know I’m still young, but I can’t deny I am also old. My prime child-bearing years have passed; that damn clock mimics my heartbeat, and with every passing month, mocks me when I bleed. The wheel turns once more, and I am still here, distracting myself from that clock as best I can.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

"The angry graffiti of a kid denied computer game time after breaking several rules in a row. He better mellow out and soon. Lol"

Rebellious Youth

“The angry graffiti of a kid denied computer game time after breaking several rules in a row. He better mellow out.”

My entry for this week’s Photo Challenge, subject of “Forward”.

 

‎”If someone started telling stories about how my…”

‎”If someone started telling stories about how my gender was controlled by our genitalia and sexual arousal turns us into rapist automatons, I would be outraged. I would explain in very small, very loud words that I am a person and I can goddamn control myself. I wish more men would speak up to say ‘actually, even when I can’t turn my erection off, I can sure as hell use the rest of my body to put it somewhere it won’t bother anyone.’”

Calling All Gynecologists « I Heart Guts

menstrual cycle infographic

Menstrual cycles can be baffling, and that’s why I really wanted to make this special poster explaining this special time of the month, mostly so I can justify to my poor husband exactly why I am feeling totally insane. “It’s not me, honey, it’s the progesterone spiking,” or, “Can you understand now why I’m being a total bee-yatch? I’ve got at least five different hormones coursing through my body right now. I’m on drugs.” Marvel at the leuteinizing hormone! Be amazed as the estrogen takes a nosedive right before ovulation! Check out the egg as it takes its long journey through your reproductive system! Anyway, check it out and give me feedback — calling all OB/GYNs! Editors! Anatomy nuts! Sex educators! — before I send this thing to the printer. I know it’s a little crazy-looking, design-wise, but then again, so’s the menstrual cycle.

via Calling All Gynecologists « I Heart Guts.

You can buy this poster at The Good Ol’ Menstrual Cycle « I Heart Guts.

Keep Calm…

Keep Calm, And When In Doubt, Go To The Library - keep-calm-hp-tumblr-.com

“You’re the cleverest witch of your age I’ve ever met, Hermione.”

Read, Give, and Share | We Give Books

Read, Give, and Share with We Give Books

I just found an amazing free resource and I wanted to pass it on to all of you. We Give Books is a free online library of children’s books that enables your kids to help other children around the world while they’re reading.  Whenever you read a book at www.wegivebooks.org, they donate a book to a child who doesn’t have one, and it doesn’t cost you a thing. Their tagline says it all, “combining the joy of reading with the power of giving.” It’s the perfect tool for parents, teachers, caregivers, and anyone who loves children’s books!

When you go to www.wegivebooks.org, you’ll be able to read a special selection of books without a We Give Books account, but you have to sign up to access their full library. It’s definitely worth it, though. It’s just a quick form, and once you’re signed up, you’ll have access to over 150 quality children’s books! There are a lot of familiar classic titles, and even more new ones for us to discover. You can sort the books by age level, genre, author, and seasonal selections in the “editor’s pick” section, so everyone can find something they like.

On the Causes page you can learn more about where your donated books are going. This fall, We Give Books is focusing on early childhood literacy across the United States and supporting great causes like Jumpstart for young children. In the winter, you’ll be able to read to support global literacy and give books to non-profits like Room to Read. They also give you the option to donate to help your book donations reach even more children.

We Give Books is a program of the Pearson Foundation and Penguin Group. Penguin works with its authors to provide an outstanding selection of online books while the Pearson Foundation donates print books to charity partners. We Give Books is a great way to get your children excited about reading and to teach them about the importance of helping others.

via Share | We Give Books.

Read, Give, Share - We Give Books

Missing Girl in Machynlleth – Photo released | Dyfed Powys Police | Heddlu Dyfed Powys

5 year old April Jones missing, abducted

Police have released photographs of missing five year old April Jones who was last seen playing with her friend on their bikes near to garages in the town at around 19:30hrs this evening.

April was seen getting into a light coloured van or van sized vehicle which then drove off.

Police ask anyone with any information to call them on 101.

via Missing Girl in Machynlleth – Photo released | Dyfed Powys Police | Heddlu Dyfed Powys.

 

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