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University of Melbourne and Aalborg University study: How convincing is a Y-chromosome profile match between suspect and crime scene? Study aims to improve the validity and intelligibility of Y-chromosome evidence presented in court

4 Nov

Sarah C. P. Williams wrote in the Science article, Y Chromosome Is More Than a Sex Switch:

The small, stumpy Y chromosome—possessed by male mammals but not females, and often shrugged off as doing little more than determining the sex of a developing fetus—may impact human biology in a big way. Two independent studies have concluded that the sex chromosome, which shrank millions of years ago, retains the handful of genes that it does not by chance, but because they are key to our survival. The findings may also explain differences in disease susceptibility between men and women.
“The old textbook description says that once maleness is determined by a few Y chromosome genes and you have gonads, all other sex differences stem from there,” says geneticist Andrew Clark of Cornell University, who was not involved in either study. “These papers open up the door to a much richer and more complex way to think about the Y chromosome….” http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/04/y-chromosome-more-sex-switch

See, National Institute of Standards and Technology study: Courtroom use of ‘Likelihood Ratio’ not consistently supported by scientific reasoning approach https://wordpress.com/posts/drwilda.com and More Innocent People on Death Row Than Estimated: Study http://time.com/79572/more-innocent-people-on-death-row-than-estimated-study/

Science Daily reported in How convincing is a Y-chromosome profile match between suspect and crime scene?

David Balding of the University of Melbourne, Australia and Mikkel Andersen of Aalborg University in Denmark have developed new, open-source software that can help understand how many people in a population will match a single Y-chromosome profile detected at a crime scene, which they describe in a new study in PLOS Genetics.
Forensic analysis of Y-chromosome DNA is especially useful when a small amount of male DNA is mixed in with a large amount of female DNA, such as occurs in sexual assault cases. Explaining this evidence in court, however, is difficult because the Y chromosome passes down mostly unchanged from fathers to sons, so a single Y-chromosome profile can be shared by dozens of men in a population.
Instead of a match probability or database count, Balding and Andersen propose that courts be told about the likely number of matching males in the population, and the possible consequences of their relatedness, which is often more distant than uncle or cousin but much closer than for a random man. They also show how the distribution of matching males can be affected by database information, and suggest ways to present this information in court to make clear that Y-chromosome evidence cannot definitively identify the culprit, but can dramatically reduce the number of possible sources of the DNA. The court must then decide if it has enough other evidence to identify the suspect as the source of the Y-chromosome profile, rather than one of his matching (distant) relatives.
After the introduction of DNA profiling using non-sex chromosomes, the procedure had problems that, once addressed, made profiling a powerful tool that has revolutionized forensic science. Now, Y chromosome profiling must undergo the same process to quantify the results in a way that is valid and directly interpretable to courts. The new software presented in this study could be used to improve the accuracy of Y chromosome evidence and to increase its understanding by judges and jurors…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171103142725.htm

Citation:

How convincing is a Y-chromosome profile match between suspect and crime scene?
Study aims to improve the validity and intelligibility of Y-chromosome evidence presented in court
Date: November 3, 2017
Source: PLOS
Summary:
Scientists have developed new, open-source software that can help understand how many people in a population will match a single Y-chromosome profile detected at a crime scene.
Journal Reference:
1. Mikkel M. Andersen, David J. Balding. How convincing is a matching Y-chromosome profile? PLOS Genetics, 2017; 13 (11): e1007028 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007028

Here is the press release:

Public Release: 3-Nov-2017
How convincing is a Y-chromosome profile match between suspect and crime scene?
Study aims to improve the validity and intelligibility of Y-chromosome evidence presented in court
PLOS
David Balding of the University of Melbourne, Australia and Mikkel Andersen of Aalborg University in Denmark have developed new, open-source software that can help understand how many people in a population will match a single Y-chromosome profile detected at a crime scene, which they describe in a new study in PLOS Genetics.
Forensic analysis of Y-chromosome DNA is especially useful when a small amount of male DNA is mixed in with a large amount of female DNA, such as occurs in sexual assault cases. Explaining this evidence in court, however, is difficult because the Y chromosome passes down mostly unchanged from fathers to sons, so a single Y-chromosome profile can be shared by dozens of men in a population.
Instead of a match probability or database count, Balding and Andersen propose that courts be told about the likely number of matching males in the population, and the possible consequences of their relatedness, which is often more distant than uncle or cousin but much closer than for a random man. They also show how the distribution of matching males can be affected by database information, and suggest ways to present this information in court to make clear that Y-chromosome evidence cannot definitively identify the culprit, but can dramatically reduce the number of possible sources of the DNA. The court must then decide if it has enough other evidence to identify the suspect as the source of the Y-chromosome profile, rather than one of his matching (distant) relatives.
After the introduction of DNA profiling using non-sex chromosomes, the procedure had problems that, once addressed, made profiling a powerful tool that has revolutionized forensic science. Now, Y chromosome profiling must undergo the same process to quantify the results in a way that is valid and directly interpretable to courts. The new software presented in this study could be used to improve the accuracy of Y chromosome evidence and to increase its understanding by judges and jurors.
David Balding adds: “We think this work is going to make a big improvement to how Y profile evidence is presented in courts. We will soon extend this work to mixtures of Y-chromosome profiles from multiple males, and also address the corresponding problem for the maternally-inherited mtDNA profiles. Our approach also allows us to include information from any relatives of the suspect whose profile is already available, and we will be working to develop that aspect.”
###
In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS Genetics:
http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1007028
Citation: Andersen MM, Balding DJ (2017) How convincing is a matching Y-chromosome profile? PLoS Genet 13(11): e1007028. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1007028
Image Credit: Mikkel Andersen
Image Caption: A simplified illustration of a simulated population of males, with lines indicating father-son links. The suspected source of the DNA, whose profile matches that from the crime scene, is shown in red and other males with matching Y profiles, who are often close relatives, are yellow. The dashed line separates the last three generations, those further back in time will typically be already dead or otherwise unlikely to be of interest (depending on the circumstances of the crime).
Funding: The authors wish to thank the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge UK, for support and hospitality during the programme Probability and Statistics in Forensic Science, where this paper was conceived. The programme was supported by EPSRC grant no EP/K032208/1. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/p-hci103117.php

Mathew Shaer wrote in the The False Promise of DNA Testing: The forensic technique is becoming ever more common—and ever less reliable.:

Modern forensic science is in the midst of a great reckoning. Since a series of high-profile legal challenges in the 1990s increased scrutiny of forensic evidence, a range of long-standing crime-lab methods have been deflated or outright debunked. Bite-mark analysis—a kind of dental fingerprinting that dates back to the Salem witch trials—is now widely considered unreliable; the “uniqueness and reproducibility” of ballistics testing has been called into question by the National Research Council. In 2004, the FBI was forced to issue an apology after it incorrectly connected an Oregon attorney named Brandon Mayfield to that spring’s train bombings in Madrid, on the basis of a “100 percent” match to partial fingerprints found on plastic bags containing detonator devices. Last year, the bureau admitted that it had reviewed testimony by its microscopic-hair-comparison analysts and found errors in at least 90 percent of the cases. A thorough investigation is now under way…. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/06/a-reasonable-doubt/480747/

The reliability of the evidence and the ability of a particular accused to defend against evidence presented in a court hearing is crucial to preventing the innocent from being convicted.

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University of Washington study: For $1000, anyone can purchase online ads to track your location and app use

19 Oct

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Tolstoy may not have been specifically talking about domestic violence, but each situation is unique. There is a specific story and specific journey for each victim, each couple, and each abuser. There is no predicted endpoint for domestic violence; each situation will have its own outcome.

Headlines regularly detail incidents of domestic violence involving sports figures and other prominent people. Domestic Violence is a societal problem. According to Safe Horizon:

The Victims
1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.
Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults.
Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men
Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner….. http://www.safehorizon.org/page/domestic-violence-statistics–facts-52.html

Abusers come in all races, classes, genders, religions and creeds.

Andy Greenberg reported in the Wired article, It Takes Just $1,000 to Track Someone’s Location With Mobile Ads:

When you consider the nagging privacy risks of online advertising, you may find comfort in the thought of a vast, abstract company like Pepsi or Nike viewing you as just one data point among millions. What, after all, do you have to hide from Pepsi? And why should that corporate megalith care about your secrets out of countless potential Pepsi drinkers? But an upcoming study has dissipated that delusion. It shows that ad-targeting can not only track you at the personal, individual level but also that it doesn’t take a corporation’s resources to seize upon that surveillance tool—just time, determination, and about a thousand dollars.
A team of security-focused researchers from the University of Washington has demonstrated just how deeply even someone with modest resources can exploit mobile advertising networks. An advertising-savvy spy, they’ve shown, can spend just a grand to track a target’s location with disturbing precision, learn details about them like their demographics and what apps they have installed on their phone, or correlate that information to make even more sensitive discoveries—say, that a certain twentysomething man has a gay dating app installed on his phone and lives at a certain address, that someone sitting next to the spy at a Starbucks took a certain route after leaving the coffee shop, or that a spy’s spouse has visited a particular friend’s home or business… https://www.wired.com/story/track-location-with-mobile-ads-1000-dollars-study/

Tracking a partner’s movements is one element of control in an abusive relationship.

Rachael Williams wrote in the Guardian article, Spyware and smartphones: how abusive men track their partners:

New technology is being developed so quickly, and social media pervades so many aspects of our lives, that it is hard to stay ahead, says Jennifer Perry, the chief executive of the Digital Trust, which supports victims of digital abuse. In fact, spyware, she reckons, is “yesterday’s technology” for tracking victims: “The easiest thing is to access the woman in the cloud. A man might buy a phone and set it up for his partner to be ‘helpful’. He knows the username and password. You have women who don’t even realise they have a cloud account in their smartphone.
“There is also an app you can buy that mirrors the phone on to a PC. The man can just sit at his computer and watch everything that happens on the phone.”
The technology is cheap and accessible, she says. And evading it is often not as simple as just turning the phone off. Perry usually advises women to take their sim card out, leave the phone with a friend until it can be cleaned, and use a cheap pay-as-you-go device in the meantime. But if her ex-partner owns the phone, it will never be safe.
Cloud storage is particularly problematic because it is linked to laptops and PCs, which, unlike phones, can have spyware installed on them remotely via email. “You often find that a woman had spyware put on to her computer remotely, so even if she changes the username and password for the cloud on her phone, the abuser can see that on the computer and get back in,” Perry says.
Perpetrators don’t just use this technology to find out where an escaping partner has gone; it is another tool for abuse when they’re together, too. “They will use the information to belittle or threaten the woman,” says Clare Laxton, public policy manager at Women’s Aid. “They’ll say: ‘Why were you at this restaurant? You’re cheating on me, I’m going to kill myself.’ It closes down that woman’s space, so she won’t want to go out and socialise, because she knows the abuse she’ll get when she gets home isn’t worth it. It’s all part of controlling her as much as possible….” https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jan/25/spyware-smartphone-abusive-men-track-partners-domestic-violence

Science Daily reported about privacy concerns:

Privacy concerns have long swirled around how much information online advertising networks collect about people’s browsing, buying and social media habits — typically to sell you something.
But could someone use mobile advertising to learn where you go for coffee? Could a burglar establish a sham company and send ads to your phone to learn when you leave the house? Could a suspicious employer see if you’re using shopping apps on work time?
The answer is yes, at least in theory. New University of Washington research, which will be presented Oct. 30 at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society, suggests that for roughly $1,000, someone with devious intent can purchase and target online advertising in ways that allow them to track the location of other individuals and learn what apps they are using….

Citation:

For $1000, anyone can purchase online ads to track your location and app use
Date: October 18, 2017
Source: University of Washington
Summary:
New research finds that for a budget of roughly $1000, it is possible for someone to track your location and app use by purchasing and targeting mobile ads. The team hopes to raise industry awareness about the potential privacy threat. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171018124131.htm

Here is the press release from the University of Washington:

October 18, 2017

For $1000, anyone can purchase online ads to track your location and app use
Jennifer Langston

UW News

New University of Washington research finds that for a budget of roughly $1000, it is possible for someone to track your location and app use by purchasing and targeting mobile ads. The team aims to raise industry awareness about the potential privacy threat.

Privacy concerns have long swirled around how much information online advertising networks collect about people’s browsing, buying and social media habits — typically to sell you something.

But could someone use mobile advertising to learn where you go for coffee? Could a burglar establish a sham company and send ads to your phone to learn when you leave the house? Could a suspicious employer see if you’re using shopping apps on work time?

The answer is yes, at least in theory. New University of Washington research, to be presented in a paper Oct. 30 at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society, suggests that for roughly $1,000, someone with devious intent can purchase and target online advertising in ways that allow them to track the location of other individuals and learn what apps they are using.
“Anyone from a foreign intelligence agent to a jealous spouse can pretty easily sign up with a large internet advertising company and on a fairly modest budget use these ecosystems to track another individual’s behavior,” said lead author Paul Vines, a recent doctoral graduate in the UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering.

The research team set out to test whether an adversary could exploit the existing online advertising infrastructure for personal surveillance and, if so, raise industry awareness about the threat.

“Because it was so easy to do what we did, we believe this is an issue that the online advertising industry needs to be thinking about,” said co-author Franzi Roesner, co-director of the UW Security and Privacy Research Lab and an assistant professor in the Allen School. “We are sharing our discoveries so that advertising networks can try to detect and mitigate these types of attacks, and so that there can be a broad public discussion about how we as a society might try to prevent them.”

This map represents an individual’s morning commute. Red dots reflect the places where the UW computer security researchers were able to track that person’s movements by serving location-based ads: at home (real location not shown), a coffee shop, bus stop and office. The team found that a target needed to stay in one location for roughly four minutes before an ad was served, which is why no red dots appear along the individual’s bus commute (dashed line) or walking route (solid line.)University of Washington

The researchers discovered that an individual ad purchaser can, under certain circumstances, see when a person visits a predetermined sensitive location — a suspected rendezvous spot for an affair, the office of a company that a venture capitalist might be interested in or a hospital where someone might be receiving treatment — within 10 minutes of that person’s arrival. They were also able to track a person’s movements across the city during a morning commute by serving location-based ads to the target’s phone.

The team also discovered that individuals who purchase the ads could see what types of apps their target was using. That could potentially divulge information about the person’s interests, dating habits, religious affiliations, health conditions, political leanings and other potentially sensitive or private information.
Someone who wants to surveil a person’s movements first needs to learn the mobile advertising ID (MAID) for the target’s mobile phone. These unique identifiers that help marketers serve ads tailored to a person’s interests are sent to the advertiser and a number of other parties whenever a person clicks on a mobile ad. A person’s MAID also could be obtained by eavesdropping on an unsecured wireless network the person is using or by gaining temporary access to his or her WiFi router.
The UW team demonstrated that customers of advertising services can purchase a number of hyperlocal ads through that service, which will only be served to that particular phone when its owner opens an app in a particular spot. By setting up a grid of these location-based ads, the adversary can track the target’s movements if he or she has opened an app and remains in a location long enough for an ad to be served — typically about four minutes, the team found.
Importantly, the target does not have to click on or engage with the ad — the purchaser can see where ads are being served and use that information to track the target through space. In the team’s experiments, they were able to pinpoint a person’s location within about 8 meters.

“To be very honest, I was shocked at how effective this was,” said co-author Tadayoshi Kohno, an Allen School professor who has studied security vulnerabilities in products ranging from automobiles to medical devices. “We did this research to better understand the privacy risks with online advertising. There’s a fundamental tension that as advertisers become more capable of targeting and tracking people to deliver better ads, there’s also the opportunity for adversaries to begin exploiting that additional precision. It is important to understand both the benefits and risks with technologies.”

An individual could potentially disrupt the simple types of location-based attacks that the UW team demonstrated by frequently resetting the mobile advertising IDs in their phones — a feature that many smartphones now offer. Disabling location tracking within individual app settings could help, the researchers said, but advertisers still may be capable of harvesting location data in other ways.
On the industry side, mobile and online advertisers could help thwart these types of attacks by rejecting ad buys that target only a small number of devices or individuals, the researchers said. They also could develop and deploy machine learning tools to distinguish between normal advertising patterns and suspicious advertising behavior that looks more like personal surveillance.
The UW Security and Privacy Research Lab is a leader in evaluating potential security threats in emerging technologies, including telematics in automobiles, web browsers, DNA sequencing software and augmented reality, before they can be exploited by bad actors.

Next steps for the team include working with experts at the UW’s Tech Policy Lab to explore the legal and policy questions raised by this new form of potential intelligence gathering.

The research was funded by The National Science Foundation, The Tech Policy Lab and the Short-Dooley Professorship.

For more information, contact the research team at adint@cs.washington.edu.
Grant number: NSF: CNS-1463968

Resources:

Cell Phone Location Tracking Laws By State https://www.aclu.org/issues/privacy-technology/location-tracking/cell-phone-location-tracking-laws-state

Mobile Phone Safety for a Domestic Abuse Victim http://www.getdomesticviolencehelp.com/domestic-abuse-victim.html

Smartphones Are Used To Stalk, Control Domestic Abuse Victims http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2014/09/15/346149979/smartphones-are-used-to-stalk-control-domestic-abuse-victims

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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University of California Irvine study: Neighborhood affluence linked to positive birth outcomes

8 Oct

Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of society’s problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family. There is a lot of economic stress in the country now because of unemployment and underemployment. Children feel the stress of their parents and they worry about how stable their family and living situation is.
The best way to eliminate poverty is job creation, job growth, and job retention. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between education and poverty in Assessing Development Impact: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Through Education http://www.adb.org/documents/assessing-development-impact-breaking-cycle-poverty-through-education There will not be a good quality of life for most citizens without a strong education system. One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. Without continued sustained investment in education, we are the next third world country. See, http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2330/Poverty-Education.html

Science Daily reported in Neighborhood affluence linked to positive birth outcomes:

It’s not uncommon for new parents to relocate in search of neighborhoods with better schools, safer streets and healthier, more kid-friendly activities. But a new study led by University of California, Irvine sociologist Jennifer Kane has found that living in such neighborhoods before a baby is born protects against the risks of poor birth outcomes.
Published online this month in SSM — Population Health, the research shows that having highly educated, wealthy neighbors reduces an expectant mother’s risk of delivering a low-weight or preterm baby — health markers that can be associated with neurodevelopmental problems, language disorders, learning disabilities and poor health later in life.
The study is the first to look at how both affluent and disadvantaged neighborhoods affect newborn health; past studies have only explored the impact of disadvantaged neighborhoods….
The findings are based on the electronic birth certificates of more than 1.2 million babies born in New Jersey between 1996 and 2006. The researchers were able to batch the records by neighborhood and analyze birth outcomes against census data and indices reflecting affluence and disadvantage for different tracts.
They found that for white, black, Asian and Hispanic mothers, neighborhood affluence was linked to fewer preterm or low-birth-weight babies across the board, more so for white mothers. Disadvantaged neighborhoods — generally thought to be racially segregated areas with higher crime and lower education levels — were not significantly associated with poor birth outcomes among white and Asian mothers but were among black and Hispanic mothers.
One behavior detrimental to newborns’ health was discovered to cross all ZIP codes: Prenatal smoking — even among white women in more affluent neighborhoods — correlated directly to an increase in low-birth-weight babies.
“Our findings draw attention to the effects of social environments, not just individual-level risk factors, on birth outcomes,” Kane said. “Now that we know affluence is a key part of the story, more resources should be invested in unpacking the mechanisms through which neighborhood affluence influences birth outcomes — an endeavor that will likely uncover concrete strategies to improve infant health…..” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171003144832.htm

Citation:

Neighborhood affluence linked to positive birth outcomes
Date: October 3, 2017
Source: University of California, Irvine
Summary:
It’s not uncommon for new parents to relocate in search of neighborhoods with better schools, safer streets and healthier, more kid-friendly activities. But a new study has found that living in such neighborhoods before a baby is born protects against the risks of poor birth outcomes.

Journal Reference:
1. Jennifer B. Kane, Gandarvaka Miles, Jennifer Yourkavitch, Katherine King. Neighborhood context and birth outcomes: Going beyond neighborhood disadvantage, incorporating affluence. SSM – Population Health, 2017; 3: 699 DOI: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2017.08.003

Here is the press release from UC Irvine:

UCI-led study links neighborhood affluence, positive birth outcomes
Mother’s social environment as well as individual risk factors influence infant health
on October 3, 2017
Irvine, Calif., Oct. 3, 2017 — It’s not uncommon for new parents to relocate in search of neighborhoods with better schools, safer streets and healthier, more kid-friendly activities. But a new study led by University of California, Irvine sociologist Jennifer Kane has found that living in such neighborhoods before a baby is born protects against the risks of poor birth outcomes.
Published online this month in SSM – Population Health, the research shows that having highly educated, wealthy neighbors reduces an expectant mother’s risk of delivering a low-weight or preterm baby – health markers that can be associated with neurodevelopmental problems, language disorders, learning disabilities and poor health later in life.
The study is the first to look at how both affluent and disadvantaged neighborhoods affect newborn health; past studies have only explored the impact of disadvantaged neighborhoods.
“We suspected that affluence was a key social determinant of birth outcomes because, according to sociological theory, neighborhood affluence is not simply the absence of disadvantage, but rather a unique and independent attribute that plays an important role in contributing to an individual’s well-being,” Kane said. “This is because neighborhood affluence is thought to signal the presence of locally based community organizations that can meet the needs of all residents – health-related and otherwise – regardless of one’s own socioeconomic resources.”
The findings are based on the electronic birth certificates of more than 1.2 million babies born in New Jersey between 1996 and 2006. The researchers were able to batch the records by neighborhood and analyze birth outcomes against census data and indices reflecting affluence and disadvantage for different tracts.
They found that for white, black, Asian and Hispanic mothers, neighborhood affluence was linked to fewer preterm or low-birth-weight babies across the board, more so for white mothers. Disadvantaged neighborhoods – generally thought to be racially segregated areas with higher crime and lower education levels – were not significantly associated with poor birth outcomes among white and Asian mothers but were among black and Hispanic mothers.
One behavior detrimental to newborns’ health was discovered to cross all ZIP codes: Prenatal smoking – even among white women in more affluent neighborhoods – correlated directly to an increase in low-birth-weight babies.
“Our findings draw attention to the effects of social environments, not just individual-level risk factors, on birth outcomes,” Kane said. “Now that we know affluence is a key part of the story, more resources should be invested in unpacking the mechanisms through which neighborhood affluence influences birth outcomes – an endeavor that will likely uncover concrete strategies to improve infant health.”
Co-authors are Gandarvaka Miles and Jennifer Yourkavitch of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Katherine King of Duke University. The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development supported the research (grant K99/R00 HD075860).
The study will appear in the December print edition of SSM – Population Health.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit http://www.uci.edu.

This government, both parties, has failed to promote the kind of economic development AND policy which creates livable wage jobs. That is why Mc Donalds is popular for more than its dollar menu. They are hiring people. This economy must start producing livable wage jobs and educating kids with skills to fill those jobs. Too bad the government kept the cash sluts and credit crunch weasels like big banks and financial houses fully employed and destroyed the rest of the country.

Related:

Hard times are disrupting families
https://drwilda.com/2011/12/11/hard-times-are-disrupting-families/

3rd world America: The link between poverty and education
https://drwilda.com/2011/11/20/3rd-world-america-the-link-between-poverty-and-education/

3rd world America: Money changes everything
https://drwilda.com/2012/02/11/3rd-world-america-money-changes-everything/

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University of Sheffield study: Bed bugs attracted to dirty laundry

1 Oct

WebMD described the concern that bed bugs pose in Bedbugs:

Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color.
Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.
Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.
Although they are a nuisance, they do not transmit diseases.
Where Bed Bugs Hide
Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night…. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/bedbugs-infestation#1
Once there is an infestation, it is difficult to get rid of bed bugs.
Science Daily reported in Bed bugs attracted to dirty laundry:
Bed bugs are attracted to dirty laundry according to new research published by University of Sheffield scientists this week (Thursday 28 September 2017).
The study, led by Dr William Hentley from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, suggests that leaving worn clothes exposed in sleeping areas when travelling may facilitate the dispersal of bed bugs.
Bed bugs have recently undergone a global resurgence, which has been partly attributed to an increase in low cost international travel in the tourism industry. One possible mechanism facilitating the global spread of bed bugs is that the insects find their way into clothing and luggage.
Published in the journal Scientific Reports, the University of Sheffield research conducted experiments in two identical, temperature-controlled rooms in which four tote bags of clothes were placed — two containing soiled clothes, two with clean clothes — in the presence of bed bugs.
In each run of the experiment, one room received an increase in concentration of CO² to simulate human breathing.
The Sheffield scientists found that in the absence of a human host, bed bugs were twice as likely to aggregate on bags containing soiled clothes compared to bags containing clean clothes.
The study also found that in the room with increased concentrations of C0², bed bugs were more likely to leave their refuge and initiate host-seeking behaviour.
Results from the research suggest that residual human odour on soiled clothes acts as an elicitor of host-seeking behaviour in bed bugs. Consequently, dirty laundry left in an open suitcase, or left on the floor of an infested room may attract bed bugs.
“Our study suggests that keeping dirty laundry in a sealed bag, particularly when staying in a hotel, could reduce the chances of people taking bed bugs home with them, which may reduce the spread of infestations….” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170928142058.htm

Citation:

Bed bugs attracted to dirty laundry
Date: September 28, 2017
Source: University of Sheffield
Summary:
Bed bugs are attracted to dirty laundry, according to new research.

Journal Reference:
1. William T. Hentley, Ben Webster, Sophie E. F. Evison, Michael T. Siva-Jothy. Bed bug aggregation on dirty laundry: a mechanism for passive dispersal. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1038/S41598-017-11850-5

Here is the press release from the University of Sheffield:

28 September 2017
Bed bugs attracted to dirty laundry, study finds
• Bed bugs are huge problem for hotel and homeowners in some of the world’s busiest cities
• Insects finding their way into clothing and luggage is one possible cause of global spread of bed bugs
Bed bugs are attracted to dirty laundry according to new research published by University of Sheffield scientists this week (Thursday 28 September 2017).
The study, led by Dr William Hentley from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, suggests that leaving worn clothes exposed in sleeping areas when travelling may facilitate the dispersal of bed bugs.
Bed bugs have recently undergone a global resurgence, which has been partly attributed to an increase in low cost international travel in the tourism industry. One possible mechanism facilitating the global spread of bed bugs is that the insects find their way into clothing and luggage.
Published in the journal Scientific Reports, the University of Sheffield research conducted experiments in two identical, temperature-controlled rooms in which four tote bags of clothes were placed – two containing soiled clothes, two with clean clothes – in the presence of bed bugs.
In each run of the experiment, one room received an increase in concentration of CO² to simulate human breathing.
The Sheffield scientists found that in the absence of a human host, bed bugs were twice as likely to aggregate on bags containing soiled clothes compared to bags containing clean clothes.
The study also found that in the room with increased concentrations of C0², bed bugs were more likely to leave their refuge and initiate host-seeking behaviour.
Results from the research suggest that residual human odour on soiled clothes acts as an elicitor of host-seeking behaviour in bed bugs. Consequently, dirty laundry left in an open suitcase, or left on the floor of an infested room may attract bed bugs.
Dr William Hentley from the University of Sheffield said: “Bed bugs are a huge problem for hotel and homeowners, particularly in some of the world’s biggest and busiest cities. Once a room is infested with bed bugs, they can be very difficult to get rid of, which can result in people having to dispose of clothes and furniture that can be really costly.
“Our study suggests that keeping dirty laundry in a sealed bag, particularly when staying in a hotel, could reduce the chances of people taking bed bugs home with them, which may reduce the spread of infestations.”
The research paper, Bed bug aggregation on dirty laundry: a mechanism for passive dispersal, is published in Scientific Reports on Thursday 28 September 2017. To access the paper, visit: http://nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/s41598-017-11850-5
Additional information
The University of Sheffield
With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.
A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.
Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.
Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.
Contact
For further information please contact:
Sean Barton
Junior Public Relations Officer
University of Sheffield
0114 222 9852
s.barton@sheffield.ac.uk

The best method of riding bed bugs is professional treatment.

The EPA offered the following advice in Do-it-yourself Bed Bug Control:

Can you treat and eliminate the bed bugs on your own? Bed bugs are challenging pests to get rid of, since they hide so well and reproduce so quickly. In addition, the egg stage is resistant to many forms of treatment, so a single attempt may not be sufficient to complete the job.
Treating bed bugs is complex. Your likelihood of success depends on many factors, including:
• Extent of the infestation.
• Site-specific challenges.
o Clutter.
o Neighbors with infestations.
o Ability of all of the residents to participate.
Achieving complete control can take weeks to months, depending on the nature and extent of the infestation, and everyone will need to cooperate and do their part.
Before starting, you should lay out all of the steps on a calendar. The following steps will help you begin:
1. Identify the problem
2. Develop a strategy
3. Keep the infestation from expanding
4. Prepare for treatment
5. Kill the bed bugs
6. Evaluate and prevent
Identify the Problem
• Inspect infested areas, plus surrounding living spaces, to determine extent of infestation.
• Correctly identify the pest.
o Collect a sample to show an extension agent Exit or other reliable expert in entomology.
o Extension agents are trained in pest control issues and know your local area.
• If you have bed bugs and live in an apartment, notify your landlord, because the units surrounding yours should be inspected.
o Landlords may have a responsibility to participate in treatment. Check the housing codes and laws in your area.
Develop a Strategy
• Using a calendar, map out each stage based on the recommendations in the following sections.
• Plan to keep records through the whole process – including dates and locations when pests are found.
• Leave time for long-term monitoring to make sure all of the bed bugs are gone.
Keep the Infestation from Spreading
• Anything removed from the room should be placed in a sealed plastic bag and treated.
o Items that cannot be treated should be placed in a sealed plastic bag and left for an extended period of time to ensure any active bugs are dead (research shows variation in the length of time needed, but it can be as long as a year).
• Empty the vacuum after each use.
o Seal the bag and throw it out in an outdoor trash container.
• Don’t discard furniture if you can eliminate the bed bugs from it.
• If furniture cannot be salvaged, discard it responsibly. Destroy it so someone else won’t be tempted to bring it into their home. For example:
o Rip covers and remove stuffing from furniture items.
o Use spray paint to mark furniture with “Bed Bugs.”
• Take steps to have infested items picked up as soon as possible by the trash collection agency.
Prepare for Treatment
Jumping straight into control is tempting, but won’t work. Preparing for treatment is essential to getting successful control. It will also help by making it easier for you to monitor for bed bugs that haven’t been completely eliminated. This preparation should be conducted whether you are doing the treatment yourself or hiring a professional.
Learn more about preparing for treatment
Learn about treatment options (PDF).(4 pp, 480 K, About PDF) Exit
Top of Page
Kill the Bed Bugs
• Make sure the methods you select are safe, effective and legal. See What’s Legal, What’s Not for more information.
• Consider non-chemical methods of killing bed bugs. Some will be more useful than others.
o Heat treatment using a clothes dryer on high heat, black plastic bags in the sun or a hot, closed car (pest management professionals have other methods that are not suitable for non-trained individuals to use).
o Cold treatment can be successful in the home environment if the freezer is set to 0o F. You must leave the items in the freezer at that temperature for four days. (Always use a thermometer to check the temperature, since home freezers are not always set to 0o.)
o Reducing the numbers of bugs with these and other non-chemical methods is helpful, but is unlikely to entirely eliminate the infestation.
• If needed, use pesticides carefully according to the label directions or hire a pest management professional.
o Look for EPA-registered pesticides.
o Bed bugs must be listed on the label.
o Use foggers (bug bombs) only with extreme care. Improper use can harm your health or cause a fire/explosion.
 Because foggers work with a broadcast spraying action, they should not be used as the sole source of bed bug control. The spray will not reach the cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide.
 See Should I Use a Fogger?
• Every few days after you complete your initial cleanup and control processes, carefully look for any evidence of bed bugs.
o If you see bed bugs, that means that either the initial cleanup missed some individuals or that eggs have hatched (finding and removing or killing all eggs can be very difficult) and retreatment may be needed.
• If repeated treatments are needed, consider using pesticides with different modes of action.
o Desiccants (drying agents) can be particularly effective in some situations since they work by drying out the bug (which means the bed bugs can’t develop resistance to it).
 If using desiccants, be sure to use only products registered as a pesticide.
 Do not use pool or food-grade diatomaceous earth – this type of diatomaceous earth can harm you when you breathe it in. The pesticide version uses a different size of diatoms, which reduces the hazard.
 Desiccants can be very effective; however, they can take up to several months to work.
Bed bug interceptor (place under furniture legs to catch bed bugs)
Evaluate and Prevent
• Continue to inspect for presence of bed bugs, at least every 7 days, in case any eggs remained.
o Interceptors (placed under the legs of furniture to catch bed bugs and keep them from climbing the legs; commercial and do-it-yourself versions available), traps or other methods of monitoring can be used.
• Continue to implement preventive measures.
https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/do-it-yourself-bed-bug-control

There are several reasons according to the Bed Bug Treatment site you should seek the services of a professional:

There are four reasons where I would just recommend skipping right over the do it yourself treatment options, and jumping straight to calling a professional:
1 – You don’t like to read or follow instructions
If you are one to just “figure things out” because you don’t have time or the attention span to read the instructions, just go ahead and call a professional.
To be effective and safe, do it yourself treatment options require that you completely follow the instructions. Not following the instructions can result in you wasting money, wasting time and potentially putting yourself and your family in danger. You must understand that bed bug sprays and pesticides, if not used properly, will not only fail to work, but can pose a significant health risk to you or your family.
If you aren’t willing to read and understand the instructions, just go ahead and use a bed bug professional.
2 – You lack common sense
I was reading an article yesterday where “a Woodbury, NJ homeowner managed to set his house on fire in the course of a do-it-yourself pest control effort to rid it of bed bugs. He was reportedly using a space heater, a hair dryer, and a heat gun in order to kill bed bugs in a room on the second floor.”
A neighbor said “He went online, [and] got some instructions.”
There are just no words…
Heat treatments, unless you are using a steamer or placing the items in a bag to be heated by the sun, are not recommended for the do it yourself. This person was trying to mimic a professional heat treatment using a space heater, hair dryer and heat gun. Something tells me that the professionals don’t use space heaters and hair dryers…
In fact, if you do even a little research, you’ll see that professionals use very specific equipment for heat treatments, often involving large trucks that contain the the heat generating equipment. They also use very large heat and fire resistant containers to place all of your stuff in prior to treatment.
Common sense should tell you that using a space heater, hair dryer and heat gun is probably not the wisest thing to do. Don’t do anything that has the potential risk of destroying your home in the process of treating bed bugs.
If you lack common sense or have a high threshold of danger, just use a bed bug professional. Professionals are far less expensive than having to rebuild your home.
3 – You believe everything you read
Bed bug infestations worldwide are on the rise, and particularly here in the US. As a result, numerous products and websites have appeared popped up all over the internet offering to “help you” resolve your bed bug problems. Some of these products work, some don’t. I might even go out on a limb and say most of them don’t. Many websites are offering tips and suggestions on how to deal with bed bugs as well, and many of these sites contain inaccurate information or just plain bad advice.
Don’t believe everything you read. Do your research, read reviews, and compare site information. If 10 bed bug sites are saying one thing, and another site is saying something different, chances are the one site is wrong…. https://bedbugtreatmentsite.com/use-a-bed-bug-professional/

Ask for referrals and customer ratings should a professional be hired for bed bug eradication.

Resources:

Bed Bugs FAQs https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/bedbugs/faqs.html

16 Secrets Bed Bugs Absolutely Don’t Want You To Know https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/get-rid-of-bedbugs/

Angies List https://www.angieslist.com/?CID=SEM.E001.P002.M002.G002.V000.C000.X000.Y000.Z000&s_kwcid=c-e-kwd-300751910952-http%20www%20angieslist%20com-27316a2d-31d3-405e-87a3-c952347c6024

Home Advisor http://www.homeadvisor.com

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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American Academy of Pediatrics study: Third and fourth graders who own cell phones are more likely to be cyberbullied

18 Sep

Technology can be used for information gathering and to keep people connected. Some people use social media to torment others. Children can be devastated by thoughtless, mean, and unkind comments posted at social media sites. Some of the comments may be based upon rumor and may even be untrue. The effect on a particular child can be devastating. Because of the potential for harm, many parents worry about cyberbullying on social media sites. Moi wrote about bullying in Ohio State University study: Characteristics of kids who are bullies:

A Rotary Club in London has a statement about the Ripple Effect
Ripple Effect – Sending Waves of Goodness into the World
Like a drop of water falling into a pond, our every action ripples outward, affecting other lives in ways both obvious and unseen.
We touch the lives of those with whom we come into contact and, by extension, those with whom they come into contact.
When our actions spring from a spirit of kindness or compassion or generosity, we set into motion a “virtuous cycle” that radiates far beyond our ability to see, or perhaps even fully comprehend.
Just as a smile is infectious, so are more overt forms of service. Our objective — whether in something as formal as a highly-structured website development project or as casual as the spontaneous small kindnesses we share with strangers in hopes of brightening their day — is to send waves of positive change in the world, one act of service at a time.
Unfortunately, some children due to a variety of behaviors in their lives miss the message of the “Ripple Effect.” https://drwilda.com/2012/03/13/ohio-state-university-study-characteristics-of-kids-who-are-bullies/

Science Daily reported in Third and fourth graders who own cell phones are more likely to be cyberbullied:

Most research on cyberbullying has focused on adolescents. But a new study that examined cell phone ownership among children in third to fifth grades finds they may be particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying.
The study abstract, “Cell Phone Ownership and Cyberbullying in 8-11 Year Olds: New Research,” will be presented Monday, Sept. 18 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.
Researchers collected survey data on 4,584 students in grades 3, 4 and 5 between 2014 and 2016. Overall, 9.5 percent of children reported being a victim of cyberbullying. Children who owned cell phones were significantly more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying, especially in grades 3 and 4….
Across all three grades, 49.6 of students reported owning a cell phone. The older the student, the more likely to report cell phone ownership: 59.8 percent of fifth graders, 50.6 percent of fourth graders, and 39.5 percent of third graders reported owning their own cell phone. Cell phone owners in grades three and four were more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying. Across all three grades, more cell phone owners admitted they have been a cyberbully themselves.
According to the researchers, the increased risk of cyberbullying related to phone ownership could be tied to increased opportunity and vulnerability. Continuous access to social media and texting increases online interactions, provides more opportunities to engage both positively and negatively with peers, and increases the chance of an impulsive response to peers’ postings and messages…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170915095228.htm

Citation:

Third and fourth graders who own cell phones are more likely to be cyberbullied
Research to be presented at the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition finds that they are also likely to be bullies too
Date: September 15, 2017
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
Summary:
New research suggests elementary school-age children who own cell phones may be particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying.

Here is the press release from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Third and Fourth Graders Who Own Cell Phones are More Likely to be Cyberbullied
9/15/2017
Research to be presented at the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition finds that they are also likely to be bullies too.
CHICAGO – Most research on cyberbullying has focused on adolescents. But a new study that examined cell phone ownership among children in third to fifth grades finds they may be particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying.
The study abstract, “Cell Phone Ownership and Cyberbullying in 8-11 Year Olds: New Research,” will be presented Monday, Sept. 18 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.
Researchers collected survey data on 4,584 students in grades 3, 4 and 5 between 2014 and 2016. Overall, 9.5 percent of children reported being a victim of cyberbullying. Children who owned cell phones were significantly more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying, especially in grades 3 and 4.
“Parents often cite the benefits of giving their child a cell phone, but our research suggests that giving young children these devices may have unforeseen risks as well,” said Elizabeth K. Englander, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Mass.
Across all three grades, 49.6 of students reported owning a cell phone. The older the student, the more likely to report cell phone ownership: 59.8 percent of fifth graders, 50.6 percent of fourth graders, and 39.5 percent of third graders reported owning their own cell phone. Cell phone owners in grades three and four were more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying. Across all three grades, more cell phone owners admitted they have been a cyberbully themselves.
According to the researchers, the increased risk of cyberbullying related to phone ownership could be tied to increased opportunity and vulnerability. Continuous access to social media and texting increases online interactions, provides more opportunities to engage both positively and negatively with peers, and increases the chance of an impulsive response to peers’ postings and messages.
Englander suggests that this research is a reminder for parents to consider the risks as well as the benefits when deciding whether to provide their elementary school-aged child with a cell phone.
“At the very least, parents can engage in discussions and education with their child about the responsibilities inherent in owning a mobile device, and the general rules for communicating in the social sphere,” Englander said.
Englander will present the abstract, available below, on Monday, Sept.18, from 5:10 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT in McCormick Place West, Room S106. To request an interview with Dr. Englander, contact eenglander@bridgew.edu or 508-531-1784.
Please note: only the abstract is being presented at the meeting. In some cases, the researcher may have more data available to share with media, or may be preparing a longer article for submission to a journal.
# # #
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit http://www.aap.org.

Abstract Title: Cell Phone Ownership and Cyberbullying in 8-11 Year Olds: New Research
The study of cyberbullying has most often focused on adolescents. This study examined survey data on 4,584 students in grades 3, 4 and 5, gathered between late 2014 and 2016, as schools opted to survey their students about bullying and cyberbullying. Most, but not all, schools participating were in Massachusetts. Altogether, 49.6% of students reported owning their own cell phone. Older students were significantly more likely to report ownership; 59.8% of fifth graders, 50.6% of fourth graders, and 39.5% of third graders reported owning their own cell phone. Younger children were less able to define the term “cyberbullying” correctly, but 9.5% of all children reported being a victim of cyberbullying. Cell phone owners were significantly more likely to report being a victim of cyberbullying, but this was only true for children in Grades 3 and 4. Although fewer students overall (5.8%) admitted to cyberbullying their peers, more cell phone owners admitted to cyberbullying, and this was true for all three grades (3, 4 and 5). When bullying in school was studied, only the third graders were significantly more likely to be bullied in school if they were cell phone owners, although both third and fourth grade cell phone owners were more likely to admit to bullying. Overall, cell phone ownership was more strongly related to cyberbullying (vs. traditional bullying) and the observed relationships were stronger among younger subjects (those in fourth, and especially third, grade).
https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Third-and-Fourth-Graders-Who-Own-Cell-Phones-are-More-Likely-to-be-Cyberbullied.aspx

See, Kids Who Bully May Be More Likely to Smoke, Drink http://news.yahoo.com/kids-bully-may-more-likely-smoke-drink-170405321.html

Teri Christensen , Senior Vice President & Director of Field Operations at The Partnership at Drugfree.org wrote some excellent rules for helping kids develop healthy friendships.
Christensen suggests the following rules:

Here are 8 ways to encourage healthy friendships:
1. Regularly talk about what true friendship means – and the qualities that are important in a friend.
2. Help your child recognize behaviors that do not make a good friend.
3. Let your child know if you disapprove of one of his or her friends (or a group of friends) and explain why.
4. Try to be a good role model and use your own relationships to show how healthy friendships look and feel.
5. Get to know the parents of your children’s friends.
6. Talk to your child frequently — about everything from events of the day to his hope and dreams to dealing with peer pressure.
7. Know who your kids are hanging out with. (I don’t make my girls feel like I am being nosy but I do let them know that I have the right to check their phones, email and text messages should I feel the need to.)
8. Remind your child that that you are always there to lend an ear.
To me, a good friend is someone you can always count on. Someone who is there in the good times and bad. A true friend loves you for who you are and does not change how she feels based on what other people think.

Related Links:

When You Don’t Like Your Teenager’s Friends https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/ages-stages/teenager-adolescent-development-parenting/when-you-dont-like-your-teens-friends/

Talking About Sexting https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/talking-about-sexting

Teenage Girls and Cyber-Bullying https://www.girlshealth.gov/bullying/

How to Get Your Teen to Open Up and Talk to You More (and Text A Little Less) https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/resources-and-training/for-families/conversation-tools/index.html

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

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Aarhus University study: Using antidepressants during pregnancy may affect your child’s mental health

9 Sep

Laura G Owens wrote in the Huffington Post article, What I Wished I’d Had: Maternal Mental Health Screening:

When I was pregnant nineteen years ago I wish my doctor had warned me I might be at risk for postpartum depression.
Her words wouldn’t have freaked me out, they would have helped me cope when the darkness did indeed hit.
I wish during my 6 week check-up (when I was at my private worst) my Ob-Gyn had handed me a mental health screening and even if I lied on every question, she still explained how the “baby blues” are different than depression.
In January for the first time the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended screening pregnant and postpartum women for maternal mental illness.
Hopefully now more health care practitioners will talk to women so those who suffer know they’re not bad people or rotten mothers or God knows, alone.
The fact is worldwide 10% of pregnant women and 13% of postpartum women have a mental disorder and the numbers are even higher in developing countries.
While maternal mental illness is often lumped into the catchall “postpartum depression” it’s more complicated than a single kitchen sink diagnosis.
Symptoms can show up during pregnancy or long after birth and they don’t always look like depression, sometimes they look like:
• Anxiety
• Panic disorder
• Post-traumatic stress disorder
• Obsessive compulsive disorder
• Psychosis
Alone, or in combination.
Mental illness has always been stigmatized but especially inside the idealized institution of motherhood where pretending superhuman resilience to change, sleep deprivation, anger, frustration, fear, anxiety and sadness awards women the coveted “best” mother prize…. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-g-owens/maternal-mental-health-screening_b_9485446.html

The timing of a pregnancy should include diagnosis of potential maternal mental health issues and what treatment may be necessary.

Science Daily reported in Using antidepressants during pregnancy may affect your child’s mental health:

The use of antidepressants has been on the rise for many years. Between 2 and 8% of pregnant women are on antidepressants. Now researchers from the National Centre for Register-based Research at Aarhus BSS show that there is an increased risk involved in using antidepressants during pregnancy.
The researchers, headed by Xiaoqin Liu, have applied register-based research to the study of 905,383 children born between 1998 and 2012 with the aim of exploring the possible adverse effects of the mother’s use of antidepressants during her pregnancy.
They found that out of the 905,383 children in total, 32,400 developed a psychiatric disorder later in life. Some of these children were born to mothers who were on antidepressants during their pregnancy, while other children had not been exposed to medication.
“When we look at children born to mothers who discontinued and continued antidepressant treatment during pregnancy, we can see an increased risk of developing a psychiatric disorder if the mothers continued antidepressant treatment while pregnant,” says Xiaoqin Liu, who is the lead author of the article, which has just been published in BMJ-British Medical Journal.
More specifically, the researchers divided the children into four groups depending on the mother’s use of antidepressants before and during pregnancy. The children in group 1 had not been exposed to antidepressants in the womb. In group 2, the mothers had been taking antidepressants up until the pregnancy, but not during. In group 3, the mothers were using antidepressants both before and during the pregnancy. Group 4 consisted of children, whose mothers were new users of antidepressants and had started taking the medication during the pregnancy.
The result of the study showed an increased number of children with psychiatric disorders in the group in which the mothers had been using antidepressants during their pregnancy. Approximately twice as many children were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder in group 4 (14.5%) than in group 1 (8%). In groups 2 and 3 respectively, 11.5% and 13.6% were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder at age 16 years.
Psychiatric disorders are hereditary
In their analyses, the researchers took into account that heritability also plays a part in determining who will be diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, and that it is not just a question of being exposed to antidepressants in the womb…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170907112400.htm

Citation:

Using antidepressants during pregnancy may affect your child’s mental health
Date: September 7, 2017
Source: Aarhus University
Summary:
The use of antidepressants during pregnancy increases the risk of your child being diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder later in life, a study of almost one million Danish children shows. However, heritability also plays a part, according to the researchers.
Journal Reference:
1. Xiaoqin Liu, Esben Agerbo, Katja G Ingstrup, Katherine Musliner, Samantha Meltzer-Brody, Veerle Bergink, Trine Munk-Olsen. Antidepressant use during pregnancy and psychiatric disorders in offspring: Danish nationwide register based cohort study. BMJ, 2017; j3668 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.j3668

Here is the press release from Aarhus University:

Using antidepressants during pregnancy may affect your child’s mental health
A study from Aarhus BSS of almost one million Danish children shows that the use of antidepressants during pregnancy increases the risk of your child being diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder later in life. However, heritability also plays a part, according to the researchers.
2017.09.07 | Ingrid Marie Fossum
The use of antidepressants has been on the rise for many years. Between 2 and 8% of pregnant women are on antidepressants. Now researchers from the National Centre for Register-based Research at Aarhus BSS show that there is an increased risk involved in using antidepressants during pregnancy.
The researchers, headed by Xiaoqin Liu, have applied register-based research to the study of 905,383 children born between 1998 and 2012 with the aim of exploring the possible adverse effects of the mother’s use of antidepressants during her pregnancy.
They found that out of the 905,383 children in total, 32,400 developed a psychiatric disorder later in life. Some of these children were born to mothers who were on antidepressants during their pregnancy, while other children had not been exposed to medication.
“When we look at children born to mothers who discontinued and continued antidepressant treatment during pregnancy, we can see an increased risk of developing a psychiatric disorder if the mothers continued antidepressant treatment while pregnant,” says Xiaoqin Liu, who is the lead author of the article, which has just been published in BMJ-British Medical Journal.
More specifically, the researchers divided the children into four groups depending on the mother’s use of antidepressants before and during pregnancy. The children in group 1 had not been exposed to antidepressants in the womb. In group 2, the mothers had been taking antidepressants up until the pregnancy, but not during. In group 3, the mothers were using antidepressants both before and during the pregnancy. Group 4 consisted of children, whose mothers were new users of antidepressants and had started taking the medication during the pregnancy.
The result of the study showed an increased number of children with psychiatric disorders in the group in which the mothers had been using antidepressants during their pregnancy. Approximately twice as many children were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder in group 4 (14.5%) than in group 1 (8%). In groups 2 and 3 respectively, 11.5% and 13.6% were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder at age 16 years.
Psychiatric disorders are hereditary
In their analyses, the researchers took into account that heritability also plays a part in determining who will be diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, and that it is not just a question of being exposed to antidepressants in the womb.
“We chose to conduct the study on the assumption that psychiatric disorders are highly heritable. For this reason, we wanted to show that is too narrow if you only look at autism, which is what many previous studies have done. If heritability plays a part, other psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, ADHD-like symptoms would also appear in the data,” says Trine Munk-Olsen, who is also one of the researchers behind the study.
Indeed, the study also shows that the increase covers not only autism but also other psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Thus it becomes clear that the mother’s underlying psychiatric disorder matters in relation to the child’s mental health later in life. At the same time, it cannot be ruled out that the use of antidepressants further increases the risk of psychiatric diseases in the child.
“Our research shows that medication seems to increase the risk, but that heritability also plays a part,” says Trine Munk-Olsen, who also points out that it might be the mothers who suffer from the most severe forms of depression who need to take medication during their pregnancy.
Not just black and white
The researchers hope that the study can increase the focus on the fact that the research results are not just black and white. This could help doctors advise women on the use of antidepressants both before and after their pregnancy. Some women might be able to discontinue treatment with the medication while pregnant. However, the researchers also acknowledge that some women need medication and stress that the consequences of an untreated depression are severe and can lead to serious consequences to both mother and child.
The most important message is that we ensure and safeguard the mental well-being of the pregnant women, and for some women, this involves the use of antidepressants.
“These women should not feel guilty about taking antidepressants. Even though there is an increased risk of the child developing a psychiatric disorder later in life, our research shows that we cannot blame medication alone. Heritability also plays a part,” says Trine Munk-Olsen.
Facts:
• The article “Antidepressant use during pregnancy and psychiatric disorders in the offspring: A Danish nationwide register-based cohort study” has been published in the medical journal BMJ-British Medical Journal.
• The research has been conducted by researchers at the National Centre for Register-based Research at Aarhus BSS in collaboration with an American and a Dutch psychiatrist.
• The research has been partly funded by The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research”- iPSYCH, as well as the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (R01MH104468)
• The study includes all children born in Denmark between 1998 and 2012. The study followed the children until 2014, where some of the children were 16,5 years old.
Further info:
Trine Munk-Olsen
Senior Researcher
National Centre for Register-based Research
Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
tmo@econ.au.dk
+45 87165749 / + 45 51505161
¬Xiaoqin Liu
Postdoc
National Centre for Register-based Research
Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
lxq@econ.au.dk
+45 87165358

Children will have the most success in school, if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family.

Our goal as a society should be a healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood. ©

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New York University study: Machine learning helps spot counterfeit consumer products

13 Aug

OECD reported in Global trade in fake goods worth nearly half a trillion dollars a year – OECD & EUIPO:

18/04/2016 – Imports of counterfeit and pirated goods are worth nearly half a trillion dollars a year, or around 2.5% of global imports, with US, Italian and French brands the hardest hit and many of the proceeds going to organised crime, according to a new report by the OECD and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office.
“Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Mapping the Economic Impact” puts the value of imported fake goods worldwide at USD 461 billion in 2013, compared with total imports in world trade of USD 17.9 trillion. Up to 5% of goods imported into the European Union are fakes. Most originate in middle income or emerging countries, with China the top producer.
The report analyses nearly half a million customs seizures around the world over 2011-13 to produce the most rigorous estimate to date of the scale of counterfeit trade. It points to a larger volume than a 2008 OECD study which estimated fake goods accounted for up to 1.9% of global imports, though the 2008 study used more limited data and methodology.
“The findings of this new report contradict the image that counterfeiters only hurt big companies and luxury goods manufacturers. They take advantage of our trust in trademarks and brand names to undermine economies and endanger lives,” said OECD Deputy Secretary-General Doug Frantz, launching the report with EUIPO Executive Director António Campinos as part of OECD Integrity Week.
Fake products crop up in everything from handbags and perfumes to machine parts and chemicals. Footwear is the most-copied item though trademarks are infringed even on strawberries and bananas. Counterfeiting also produces knockoffs that endanger lives – auto parts that fail, pharmaceuticals that make people sick, toys that harm children, baby formula that provides no nourishment and medical instruments that deliver false readings.\
The report covers all physical counterfeit goods, which infringe trademarks, design rights or patents, and tangible pirated products, which breach copyright. It does not cover online piracy, which is a further drain on the formal economy… http://www.oecd.org/industry/global-trade-in-fake-goods-worth-nearly-half-a-trillion-dollars-a-year.htm

See, Remade In China: Where The World’s Fake Goods Come From [Infographic] https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2016/04/19/remade-in-china-where-the-worlds-fake-goods-come-from-infographic/#5a56fb5f1b87

SAS described machine learning in Machine Learning: What it is & why it matters:

Machine learning is a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building. Using algorithms that iteratively learn from data, machine learning allows computers to find hidden insights without being explicitly programmed where to look.
The iterative aspect of machine learning is important because as models are exposed to new data, they are able to independently adapt. They learn from previous computations to produce reliable, repeatable decisions and results. It’s a science that’s not new – but one that’s gaining fresh momentum.
Because of new computing technologies, machine learning today is not like machine learning of the past. While many machine learning algorithms have been around for a long time, the ability to automatically apply complex mathematical calculations to big data – over and over, faster and faster – is a recent development. Here are a few widely publicized examples of machine learning applications that you may be familiar with:
• The heavily hyped, self-driving Google car? The essence of machine learning.
• Online recommendation offers like those from Amazon and Netflix? Machine learning applications for everyday life.
• Knowing what customers are saying about you on Twitter? Machine learning combined with linguistic rule creation.
• Fraud detection? One of the more obvious, important uses in our world today.
Why the increased interest in machine learning?
Resurging interest in machine learning is due to the same factors that have made data mining and Bayesian analysis more popular than ever. Things like growing volumes and varieties of available data, computational processing that is cheaper and more powerful, and affordable data storage.
All of these things mean it’s possible to quickly and automatically produce models that can analyze bigger, more complex data and deliver faster, more accurate results – even on a very large scale. The result? High-value predictions that can guide better decisions and smart actions in real time without human intervention…. https://www.sas.com/en_id/insights/analytics/machine-learning.html

See, What is Machine Learning? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_uwKZIAeM0

Science Daily reported in Machine learning helps spot counterfeit consumer products:

A team of researchers has developed a new mechanism that uses machine-learning algorithms to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit versions of the same product.
The work, led by New York University Professor Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, will be presented on Mon., Aug. 14 at the annual KDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining in Halifax, Nova Scotia….
The system described in the presentation is commercialized by Entrupy Inc., an NYU startup founded by Ashlesh Sharma, a doctoral graduate from the Courant Institute, Vidyuth Srinivasan, and Subramanian.
Counterfeit goods represent a massive worldwide problem with nearly every high-valued physical object or product directly affected by this issue, the researchers note. Some reports indicate counterfeit trafficking represents 7 percent of the world’s trade today.
While other counterfeit-detection methods exist, these are invasive and run the risk of damaging the products under examination.
The Entrupy method, by contrast, provides a non-intrusive solution to easily distinguish authentic versions of the product produced by the original manufacturer and fake versions of the product produced by counterfeiters….
“The classification accuracy is more than 98 percent, and we show how our system works with a cellphone to verify the authenticity of everyday objects,” notes Subramanian.
A demo of the technology may be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsdsY8-gljg (courtesy of Entrupy Inc.)
To date, Entrupy, which recently received $2.6 million in funding from a team of investors, has authenticated $14 million worth of goods.

Citation:

Machine learning helps spot counterfeit consumer products
Date: August 11, 2017
Source: New York University
Summary:
A team of researchers has developed a new mechanism that uses machine-learning algorithms to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit versions of the same product.

Here is the NYU press release:

News Release
Researchers Use Machine Learning to Spot Counterfeit Consumer Products
________________________________________
Aug 11, 2017
Engineering, Science and Technology Research Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences Faculty
New York City
A team of researchers has developed a new mechanism that uses machine-learning algorithms to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit versions of the same product.

A team of researchers has developed a new mechanism that uses machine-learning algorithms to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit versions of the same product. Image courtesy of Entrupy, Inc.
A team of researchers has developed a new mechanism that uses machine-learning algorithms to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit versions of the same product.

The work, led by New York University Professor Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, will be presented on Mon., Aug. 14 at the annual KDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“The underlying principle of our system stems from the idea that microscopic characteristics in a genuine product or a class of products—corresponding to the same larger product line—exhibit inherent similarities that can be used to distinguish these products from their corresponding counterfeit versions,” explains Subramanian, a professor at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.
The system described in the presentation is commercialized by Entrupy Inc., an NYU startup founded by Ashlesh Sharma, a doctoral graduate from the Courant Institute, Vidyuth Srinivasan, and Subramanian.
Counterfeit goods represent a massive worldwide problem with nearly every high-valued physical object or product directly affected by this issue, the researchers note. Some reports indicate counterfeit trafficking represents 7 percent of the world’s trade today.
While other counterfeit-detection methods exist, these are invasive and run the risk of damaging the products under examination.
The Entrupy method, by contrast, provides a non-intrusive solution to easily distinguish authentic versions of the product produced by the original manufacturer and fake versions of the product produced by counterfeiters.
It does so by deploying a dataset of three million images across various objects and materials such as fabrics, leather, pills, electronics, toys and shoes.
“The classification accuracy is more than 98 percent, and we show how our system works with a cellphone to verify the authenticity of everyday objects,” notes Subramanian.
A demo of the technology may be viewed here (courtesy of Entrupy Inc.).
To date, Entrupy, which recently received $2.6 million in funding from a team of investors, has authenticated $14 million worth of goods.
For a copy of the paper, “The Fake vs Real Goods Problem: Microscopy and Machine Learning to the Rescue,” please contact James Devitt, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808 or james.devitt@nyu.edu.

Press Contact
James Devitt
James Devitt
(212) 998-6808

Employment opportunities in machine learning are expected to increase.

UDACITY described machine learning employment opportunities in :5 Skills You Need to Become a Machine Learning Engineer:

To begin, there are two very important things that you should understand if you’re considering a career as a Machine Learning engineer. First, it’s not a “pure” academic role. You don’t necessarily have to have a research or academic background. Second, it’s not enough to have either software engineering or data science experience. You ideally need both.
Data Analyst vs. Machine Learning Engineer
It’s also critical to understand the differences between a Data Analyst and a Machine Learning engineer. In simplest form, the key distinction has to do with the end goal. As a Data Analyst, you’re analyzing data in order to tell a story, and to produce actionable insights. The emphasis is on dissemination—charts, models, visualizations. The analysis is performed and presented by human beings, to other human beings who may then go on to make business decisions based on what’s been presented. This is especially important to note—the “audience” for your output is human. As a Machine Learning engineer, on the other hand, your final “output” is working software (not the analyses or visualizations that you may have to create along the way), and your “audience” for this output often consists of other software components that run autonomously with minimal human supervision. The intelligence is still meant to be actionable, but in the Machine Learning model, the decisions are being made by machines and they affect how a product or service behaves. This is why the software engineering skill set is so important to a career in Machine Learning.
Understanding The Ecosystem
Before getting into specific skills, there is one more concept to address. Being a Machine Learning engineer necessitates understanding the entire ecosystem that you’re designing for.
Let’s say you’re working for a grocery chain, and the company wants to start issuing targeted coupons based on things like the past purchase history of customers, with a goal of generating coupons that shoppers will actually use. In a Data Analysis model, you could collect the purchase data, do the analysis to figure out trends, and then propose strategies. The Machine Learning approach would be to write an automated coupon generation system. But what does it take to write that system, and have it work? You have to understand the whole ecosystem—inventory, catalog, pricing, purchase orders, bill generation, Point of Sale software, CRM software, etc.
Ultimately, the process is less about understanding Machine Learning algorithms—or when and how to apply them—and more about understanding the systemic interrelationships, and writing working software that will successfully integrate and interface. Remember, Machine Learning output is actually working software! http://blog.udacity.com/2016/04/5-skills-you-need-to-become-a-machine-learning-engineer.html

Education guidance counselors should be informed about opportunities in machine learning.

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