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Latest Blog Posts

Green tea, coffee may help lower stroke risk
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report – 2 minutes ago
Green tea and coffee may help lower your risk of having a stroke, especially when both are a regular part of your diet, according to research published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. “This is the first large-scale study to examine the combined effects of both green tea and coffee on stroke risks,” said Yoshihiro Kokubo, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.H.A., F.A.C.C., F.E.S.C., lead author of the study at Japan’s National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center. “You may make a small but positive lifestyle change to help lower the risk of stroke by adding daily green tea to your… more »

How can we stlil raed words wehn teh lettres are jmbuled up?
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 4 minutes ago
Researchers in the UK have taken an important step towards understanding how the human brain ‘decodes’ letters on a page to read a word. The work, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), will help psychologists unravel the subtle thinking mechanisms involved in reading, and could provide solutions for helping people who find it difficult to read, for example in conditions such as dyslexia. In order to read successfully, readers need not only to identify the letters in words, but also to accurately code the positions of those letters, so that they can distinguish… more »

Study identifies ways children can meet recommended activity goals
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 5 minutes ago
Despite overwhelming evidence about the benefits of physical activity for children, most American youngsters are not meeting the federal recommendation of 60 minutes a day. A new study by a team of University of Tennessee researchers has identified specific ways—and estimated minutes for each approach—that can help children achieve the recommended daily physical activity goal. The results of various approaches, ranging from mandatory physical education in school to changes in playground designs, were published recently in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The study was … more »

Transforming Schools through Expanded Learning Time
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 1 hour ago
Once among the highest-performing schools in Palmdale, a city 60 miles north of Los Angeles, Tumbleweed Elementary had fallen on tough times over the last decade. Then, in 2010, California labeled Tumbleweed “persistently low achieving,” ushering in a new era of school-wide transformation, featuring an expanded-time schedule, supported by federal funds. Today, with the benefits of more learning time and other key reforms, Tumbleweed is demonstrating dramatic improvement. This case study, the second in a series, takes you inside Tumbleweed’s turnaround. In the 2010-11 school year … more »

International Gender Difference in Math and Reading Scores Persists Regardless of Nations’ Gender Equality Levels
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 12 hours ago
Even in countries with high gender equality, sex differences in math and reading scores persisted in the 75 nations examined by a University of Missouri and University of Leeds study. Girls consistently scored higher in reading, while boys got higher scores in math, but these gaps are linked and vary with overall social and economic conditions of the nation. A better understanding of these gaps and how they are related could help educators design curricula to help students of both genders apply their talents and deal with their weaknesses. “Educational systems could be improved by… more »

Probiotics reduce stress-induced intestinal flare-ups
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report – 12 hours ago
For those with irritable bowel syndrome who wonder if stress aggravates their intestinal disorder, a new University of Michigan Health System study shows it’s not all in their head. Researchers revealed that while stress does not cause IBS, it does alter brain-gut interactions and induces the intestinal inflammation that often leads to severe or chronic belly pain, loss of appetite and diarrhea. Stress has a way of suppressing an important component called an inflammasome which is needed to maintain normal gut microbiota, but probiotics reversed the effect in animal models, accordi… more »

Vitamin D supplements may help African Americans lower blood pressure
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report – 1 day ago
Vitamin D supplements significantly reduced blood pressure in the first large controlled study of African-Americans, researchers report in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension. In the prospective trial, a three-month regimen of daily vitamin D increased circulating blood levels of vitamin D and resulted in a decrease in systolic blood pressure ranging from .7 to four mmHg (depending upon the dose given), compared with no change in participants who received a placebo. Systolic blood pressure, the top and highest number in a reading, is pressure in the arteries when t… more »

HPV vaccine: lower incidence of genital warts in young girls
Jonathan Kantrowitz at CT Free Radicals – 1 day ago
The incidence of genital warts, or condylomata, declined by 93 per cent in girls given the HPV vaccine before the age of 14, according to a Swedish national registry study. The study was carried out by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Using a selection of population-based registries, the researchers at Karolinska

Preschoolers know when they aren’t sure
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 1 day ago
Children as young as 3 years old know when they are not sure about a decision, and can use that uncertainty to guide decision making, according to new research from the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis. “There is behavioral evidence that they can do this, but the literature has assumed that until late preschool, children cannot introspect and make a decision based on that introspection,” said Simona Ghetti, professor of psychology at UC Davis and co-author of the study with graduate student Kristen Lyons, now an assistant professor at Metropolitan S… more »

Doctors caution against prescribing attention-boosting drugs for healthy kids
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 1 day ago
The American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the world’s largest professional association of neurologists, is releasing a position paper on how the practice of prescribing drugs to boost cognitive function, or memory and thinking abilities, in healthy children and teens is misguided. The statement is published in the March 13, 2013, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. This growing trend, in which teens use “study drugs” before tests and parents request ADHD drugs for kids who don’t meet the criteria for the disorder, has made headlines r… more »

Sudden death in young athletes: Important causes not identified by the screening process
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 2 days ago
Even though young athletes are required to receive health screens to be cleared to play sports, those tests failed to detect important cardiovascular abnormalities in cleared players, and many were allowed to play despite suspicions of dangerous cardiovascular conditions, according to a large registry study of patients who died from sudden death, being presented March 10 by Kevin Harris, MD, research cardiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF). The data is being presented at the annual American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions in San Francisco. Aort… more »

“2013 State of Our Schools” Report: critical need to modernize school facilities to meet current health, safety standards.
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 2 days ago
The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released its first “State of our Schools” report, highlighting the critical need to modernize school facilities to meet current health, safety and educational standards. The report, featuring a foreword by former President Bill Clinton, states that schools are currently facing a $271 billion deferred maintenance bill just to bring the buildings up to working order – approximately $5,450 per student. The last comprehensive report on America’s school facilities was conducted by the Government Accountabili… more »

The Mathematics Curriculum Study Is Now Available
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Education Research Report – 2 days ago
The report, Algebra I and Geometry Curricula: Results From the 2005 High School Transcript Mathematics Curriculum Study, builds upon the results from NAEP’s previously released High School Transcript Study and looked at the math coursetaking patterns of America’s high school graduates to examine the content and challenge of Algebra I and Geometry courses in our nation’s public high schools. The report addresses three broad research questions: 1. What differences exist in Algebra I and Geometry course curricula? 2. How accurately do school course titles and descriptions reflect the… more »

Hot Dogs Could Kill You (So Can Salami and Ham)
Jonathan Kantrowitz at Health News Report – 1 week ago
Anyone who eats over 40 grams a day of sausage products or other kinds of processed meat is asking for trouble: the risk of mortality increases by 18 percent for every 50 grams of processed meat per day. This is the result of a study conducted with around 450,000 participants by the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Zurich in collaboration with research colleagues from all over Europe. “We estimate that three percent of all premature deaths can be attributed to the high consumption of processed meat,” summarizes Sabine Rohrmann from the Institute of S… more »