Tag Archives: Technology

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center study: Screen-based media associated with structural differences in brains of young children

10 Nov

Andrew Stevensen wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald article, The screens that are stealing childhood:

Australians have smartphones and tablet computers gripped in their sweaty embrace, adopting the new internet-enabled technology as the standard operating platform for their lives, at work, home and play.
But it is not only adults who are on the iWay to permanent connection. As parents readily testify, many children don’t just use the devices, they are consumed by them.
”These devices have an almost obsessive pull towards them,” says Larry Rosen, professor of psychology at California State University and author of iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming its Hold on Us.
”How can you expect the world to compete with something like an iPad3 with a high-definition screen, clear video and lots of interactivity? How can anything compete with that? There’s certainly no toy that can.
”Even old people like me can’t stop themselves from tapping their pocket to make sure their iPhone is there. Imagine a teenager, even a pre-teen, who’s grown up with these devices attached at the hip 24/7 and you end up with what I think is a problem.”
The technology has been absorbed so comprehensively that the jury on the potential impact on young people is not just out, it’s yet to be empanelled.
”The million-dollar question is whether there are risks in the transfer of real time to online time and the answer is that we just don’t know,” says Andrew Campbell, a child and adolescent psychologist….
Authoritative standards on appropriate levels of use are limited. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends parents discourage TV for children under two and limit screen time for older children to less than two hours a day.
The guidelines, says Professor Rosen, are ”ludicrous” but the need for them and constant communication with young people about technology and how they use it, remains. ”It’s no longer OK to start talking to your kids about technology when they’re in their teens. You have to start talking to them about it as soon as you hand them your iPhone or let them watch television or Skype with grandma,” he says.
He suggests a ratio of screen time to other activities of 1:5 for very young children, 1:1 for pre-teens and 5:1 for teenagers. Parents should have weekly talks with their children from the start, looking for signs of obsession, addiction and lack of attention. http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/the-screens-that-are-stealing-childhood-20120528-1zffr.html

See, Technology Could Lead to Overstimulation in Kids http://www.educationnews.org/parenting/technology-could-lead-to-overstimulation-in-kids/

Science Daily reported in Screen-based media associated with structural differences in brains of young children:

A new study documents structural differences in the brains of preschool-age children related to screen-based media use.
The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, shows that children who have more screen time have lower structural integrity of white matter tracts in parts of the brain that support language and other emergent literacy skills. These skills include imagery and executive function — the process involving mental control and self-regulation. These children also have lower scores on language and literacy measures.
The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center study assessed screen time in terms of American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations. The AAP recommendations not only take into account time spent in front of screens but also access to screens, including portable devices; content; and who children are with and how they interact when they are looking at screens.
“This study raises questions as to whether at least some aspects of screen-based media use in early childhood may provide sub-optimal stimulation during this rapid, formative state of brain development,” says John Hutton, MD, director of the, Reading & Literacy Discovery Center at Cincinnati Children’s and lead author of the study. “While we can’t yet determine whether screen time causes these structural changes or implies long-term neurodevelopmental risks, these findings warrant further study to understand what they mean and how to set appropriate limits on technology use….” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191104112918.htm

Citation:

Screen-based media associated with structural differences in brains of young children
Date: November 4, 2019
Source: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Summary:
A new study documents structural differences in the brains of preschool-age children related to screen-based media use.

Journal Reference:
John S. Hutton, Jonathan Dudley, Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus, Tom DeWitt, Scott K. Holland. Associations Between Screen-Based Media Use and Brain White Matter Integrity in Preschool-Aged Children. JAMA Pediatrics, 2019; e193869 DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.3869

Here is the press release from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center:

Screen-based media associated with structural differences in brains of young children
by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, shows that children who have more screen time have lower structural integrity of white matter tracts in parts of the brain that support language and other emergent literacy skills. These skills include imagery and executive function—the process involving mental control and self-regulation. These children also have lower scores on language and literacy measures.
The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center study assessed screen time in terms of American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations. The AAP recommendations not only take into account time spent in front of screens but also access to screens, including portable devices; content; and who children are with and how they interact when they are looking at screens.
“This study raises questions as to whether at least some aspects of screen-based media use in early childhood may provide sub-optimal stimulation during this rapid, formative state of brain development,” says John Hutton, MD, director of the, Reading & Literacy Discovery Center at Cincinnati Children’s and lead author of the study. “While we can’t yet determine whether screen time causes these structural changes or implies long-term neurodevelopmental risks, these findings warrant further study to understand what they mean and how to set appropriate limits on technology use.”
Among the AAP recommendations:
• For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they’re seeing.
• For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
• Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
• Higher ScreenQ scores were associated with lower brain white matter integrity, which affects organization and myelination—the process of forming a myelin sheath around a nerve to allow nerve impulses to move more quickly—in tracts involving language executive function and other literacy skills.
“Screen-based media use is prevalent and increasing in home, childcare and school settings at ever younger ages,” says Dr. Hutton. “These findings highlight the need to understand effects of screen time on the brain, particularly during stages of dynamic brain development in early childhood, so that providers, policymakers and parents can set healthy limits.”
________________________________________
Explore further
New studies measure screen-based media use in children https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-05-screen-based-media-children.html
________________________________________
Journal information: JAMA Pediatrics
Provided by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-11-screen-based-media-differences-brains-young.html

There is something to be said for Cafe Society where people actually meet face-to-face for conversation or the custom of families eating at least one meal together. Time has a good article on The Magic of the Family Meal http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1200760,00.html See, also Family Dinner: The Value of Sharing Meals http://www.ivillage.com/family-dinner-value-sharing-meals/6-a-128491
Perhaps, acting like the power is out from time to time and using Helen Robin’s suggestions is not such a bad idea.

Related:

Two studies: Social media and social dysfunction https://drwilda.com/2013/04/13/two-studies-social-media-and-social-dysfunction/

Common Sense Media report: Kids migrating away from Facebook
https://drwilda.com/tag/the-impact-of-social-media-use-on-children/

Is ‘texting’ destroying literacy skills https://drwilda.com/2012/07/30/is-texting-destroying-literacy-skills/

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University of British Columbia study: New DNA ‘clock’ could help measure development in young children

19 Oct

Rachel Nuwer wrote in the Scientific American article, Programming a DNA Clock: Engineers have created a DNA-based chemical “oscillator,” opening the door to molecular computing:

Nature is a master at constructing biological machines and circuits, including the ones that maintain the body’s internal clock, copy genes or help cells move. Now human engineers are learning to design and synthesize novel biochemical devices such as nanoscale factories, biological circuits and even molecular computers.
This work has so far relied mostly on using existing cellular components (enzymes, for example), but some researchers prefer to start from scratch. For these “molecular programmers,” DNA is the coding language of choice, and crafting circuits and machines to rival those found in nature is the ultimate goal. Recently they took a big step closer by creating the first oscillator—a molecular clock—made solely of DNA.
This milestone achievement, reported last December in Science, shows that DNA is not simply a passive carrier of genetic information. Instead it is a molecule that—even on its own—“is capable of complex behavior,” says senior author David Soloveichik, an electrical and computer engineer at the University of Texas at Austin. Building a DNA oscillator is a biological engineering feat in itself and would likely be integral for potential breakthroughs in synthetic biology, such as controlling the timing of events in artificial cells, scheduling the release of drugs and synchronizing molecular computers.
To create the device, Soloveichik, Niranjan Srinivas, then a doctoral candidate at the California Institute of Technology, and their colleagues built a DNA compiler—a series of algorithms that allows a programmer to issue molecule-building instructions without having to get into the nitty-gritty biochemistry. Software translates those instructions into DNA sequences that are synthesized and mixed together. The strands then self-assemble into molecular machines.
Using its compiler, the team programmed a prototype DNA oscillator that generates repeating patterns of “ticks” and “tocks.” In principle, Soloveichik says, the same formula can be used to produce more complex behavior, such as changing the clock’s speed in response to chemical signals. These clocks could eventually lead to chemical computation—after all, some of the first mechanical computers were simply sophisticated clocks…. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/programming-a-dna-clock/

Scientists have been studying and designing DNA Clocks. See, DNA clock helps to get measure of people’s lifespans https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150130092913.htm

Ricki Lewis, PhD wrote A New Biological Aging Clock: Ribosomal DNA:

A new biological clock could be put to good use. “Determining biological age is a central step to understanding fundamental aspects of aging as well as developing tools to inform personal and public health choices. We have hopes that the ribosomal clock will provide new insights into the impact of the environment and personal choices on long-term health,” said Dr. Lemos.
• assessing the effects of cancer treatments on biological aging, perhaps through a cheek swab test
• detecting how environmental exposures like pollution or factors such as lack of exercise or malnutrition affect biological aging
• determining the age structure of a natural population, perhaps through feces analyses
• estimating the age of a stray cat or dog. The animal shelter deemed our new cat Milton as 3, based on his teeth. Might his rDNA provide a more accurate assessment? This approach could be extended to checking the age of humans.
• manufacturers of cosmetics and skin care products can combine rDNA with SPF measurements to dole out dollops customized to how long a customer has until wrinkles appear…. https://blogs.plos.org/dnascience/2019/03/28/a-new-biological-aging-clock-ribosomal-dna/

The University of British Columbia studied the use of a DNA clock to measure development in young children.

Science Daily reported in New DNA ‘clock’ could help measure development in young children:

Scientists have developed a molecular “clock” that could reshape how pediatricians measure and monitor childhood growth and potentially allow for an earlier diagnosis of life-altering development disorders.
The research, published this week in PNAS, describes how the addition of chemical tags to DNA over time can potentially be used to screen for developmental differences and health problems in children.
The study was led by researchers at BC Children’s Hospital, the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the University of California, Los Angeles. It is the first study to describe a method specifically designed for children, called the Pediatric-Buccal-Epigenetic (PedBE) clock, which measures chemical changes to determine the biological age of a child’s DNA.
Small chemical changes to DNA, known as epigenetic changes, alter how genes are expressed in certain tissues and cells. Some of these changes happen as a person ages and others may be in response to a person’s environment or life experiences.
In adults, these patterns of epigenetic changes are well established. They can be used to accurately predict a person’s age from a DNA sample or, if a person’s epigenetic age differs from their actual age, it can point differences in health, including age-related diseases and early mortality.
“We have a good idea how these DNA changes occur in adults, but until now we didn’t have a tool that was specific for children,” says Dr. Michael Kobor, senior author of study. “These DNA changes occur at very different rates in kids and so we adapted this technique for younger ages….”
The PedBE clock was developed using DNA methylation profiles from 1,032 healthy children whose ages ranged from a few weeks old to 20 years. The researchers found 94 different sites in the genome that, when tested together, could accurately predict a child’s age to within about four months. The team also found that children who spent longer in the womb showed an accelerated rate of DNA change by three months, demonstrating that this tool could be used to indicate an infant’s developmental stage. The analysis can be done cheaply and efficiently on cells collected from a cheek swab.
“This powerful and easy-to-use tool could be used by clinicians to identify why some children aren’t meeting early milestones and potentially diagnose children with developmental disorders earlier in life,” says Dr. Lisa McEwen, first author on the study. “This would enable doctors and pediatricians to intervene sooner in a child’s life leading to better outcomes for kids.”
In a small pilot study, the researchers also found that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) showed a higher PedBE “age” than those considered to be developing typically, suggesting that the clock could be used to screen for ASD…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191015140253.htm

Citation:

New DNA ‘clock’ could help measure development in young children
Date: October 15, 2019
Source: University of British Columbia
Summary:
Scientists have developed a molecular ‘clock’ that could reshape how pediatricians measure and monitor childhood growth and potentially allow for an earlier diagnosis of life-altering development disorders.

Journal Reference:
Lisa M. McEwen, Kieran J. O’Donnell, Megan G. McGill, Rachel D. Edgar, Meaghan J. Jones, Julia L. MacIsaac, David Tse Shen Lin, Katia Ramadori, Alexander Morin, Nicole Gladish, Elika Garg, Eva Unternaehrer, Irina Pokhvisneva, Neerja Karnani, Michelle Z. L. Kee, Torsten Klengel, Nancy E. Adler, Ronald G. Barr, Nicole Letourneau, Gerald F. Giesbrecht, James N. Reynolds, Darina Czamara, Jeffrey M. Armstrong, Marilyn J. Essex, Carolina de Weerth, Roseriet Beijers, Marieke S. Tollenaar, Bekh Bradley, Tanja Jovanovic, Kerry J. Ressler, Meir Steiner, Sonja Entringer, Pathik D. Wadhwa, Claudia Buss, Nicole R. Bush, Elisabeth B. Binder, W. Thomas Boyce, Michael J. Meaney, Steve Horvath, Michael S. Kobor. The PedBE clock accurately estimates DNA methylation age in pediatric buccal cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019; 201820843 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1820843116

Here is the press release from the University of British Columbia:

New DNA “clock” could help measure development in young children
October 15, 2019
Scientists have developed a molecular “clock” that could reshape how pediatricians measure and monitor childhood growth and potentially allow for an earlier diagnosis of life-altering development disorders.
The research, published this week in PNAS, describes how the addition of chemical tags to DNA over time can potentially be used to screen for developmental differences and health problems in children.
The study was led by researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC), BC Children’s Hospital, and the University of California, Los Angeles. It is the first study to describe a method specifically designed for children, called the Pediatric-Buccal-Epigenetic (PedBE) clock, which measures chemical changes to determine the biological age of a child’s DNA.
Small chemical changes to DNA, known as epigenetic changes, alter how genes are expressed in certain tissues and cells. Some of these changes happen as a person ages and others may be in response to a person’s environment or life experiences.
In adults, these patterns of epigenetic changes are well established. They can be used to accurately predict a person’s age from a DNA sample or, if a person’s epigenetic age differs from their actual age, it can point differences in health, including age-related diseases and early mortality.
“We have a good idea how these DNA changes occur in adults, but until now we didn’t have a tool that was specific for children,” says Dr. Michael Kobor, a UBC professor in the department of medical genetics, investigator at BC Children’s Hospital and senior study author. “These DNA changes occur at very different rates in kids and so we adapted this technique for younger ages.”
Dr. Kobor is also an investigator at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, the Canada Research Chair in Social Epigenetics and the Sunny Hill BC Leadership Chair in Child Development.
The PedBE clock was developed using DNA methylation profiles from 1,032 healthy children whose ages ranged from a few weeks old to 20 years. The researchers found 94 different sites in the genome that, when tested together, could accurately predict a child’s age to within about four months. The team also found that children who spent longer in the womb showed an accelerated rate of DNA change by three months, demonstrating that this tool could be used to indicate an infant’s developmental stage. The analysis can be done cheaply and efficiently on cells collected from a cheek swab.
“This powerful and easy-to-use tool could be used by clinicians to identify why some children aren’t meeting early milestones and potentially diagnose children with developmental disorders earlier in life,” says Dr. Lisa McEwen, lead study author who completed this research as a UBC PhD candidate in Dr. Kobor’s lab. “This would enable doctors and pediatricians to intervene sooner in a child’s life leading to better outcomes for kids.”
In a small pilot study, the researchers also found that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) showed a higher PedBE “age” than those considered to be developing typically, suggesting that the clock could be used to screen for ASD.
“The fact that our pediatric clock was able to distinguish between typically developing children and those with autism in this small experiment demonstrates the powerful potential of this tool,” says Dr. Kobor. “Although more research is needed to confirm this, these results show that the PedBE clock could be an important factor in evaluating how children develop.”
The researchers made the tool freely available along with the publication of this study so other research teams are able to use and experiment with the tool right away.
A version of this story originally appeared on the BC Children’s Hospital website. https://www.med.ubc.ca/news/new-dna-clock-could-help-measure-development-in-young-children/
Richard Harris wrote about potential uses of DNA diagnosis in A Boy’s Mysterious Illness Leads His Family On A Diagnostic Odyssey https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/10/16/769462793/a-boys-mysterious-illness-leads-his-family-on-a-diagnostic-odyssey

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
Albert Einstein

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World Health Organization (WHO): “Gaming Disorder” Is A Disease

28 May

Like it or not, technology is a part of life. The key is to use technology for YOUR advantage and to not let technology control you. Parents must monitor their children’s use of technology. Caroline Knorr has an excellent article at Common Sense Media, How Rude! Manners For the Digital Age Parents must talk with their children about the responsible use of social media and the Internet. Common Sense Media has some great discussion points in the article, Rules of the Road for Kids

Rules of the Road for Kids
1. Guard your privacy. What people know about you is up to you.
2. Protect your reputation. Self-reflect before you self-reveal. What’s funny or edgy today could cost you tomorrow.
3. Nothing is private online. Anything you say or do can be copied, pasted, and sent to gazillions of people without your permission.
4. Assume everyone is watching. There’s a huge, vast audience out there. If someone is your friend’s friend, they can see everything.
5. Apply the Golden Rule. If you don’t want it done to you, don’t do it to someone else.
6. Choose wisely. Not all content is appropriate. You know what we mean.
7. Don’t hide. Using anonymity to cloak your actions doesn’t turn you into a trustworthy, responsible human being.
8. Think about what you see. Just because it’s online doesn’t make it true.
9. Be smart, be safe. Not everyone is who they say they are. But you know that.

A timely discussion now may save a lot of heartache for you and your family later.
Rebecca Greenfield has a great post at the Atlantic Wire which summarizes a sampling of other articles about Facebook’s effect on children. In What Facebook Does to Kids’ Brains

Mike Snider of USA TODAY wrote in Video game addiction officially considered a mental disorder, WHO says:

Think your kid is addicted to video games? There could be something to it.
The World Health Organization has made video game addiction an official mental health disorder. The Geneva, Switzerland-headquartered organization has added “Gaming disorder” to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems or “ICD-11,” which goes into effect in January 2022.
The condition has been included in the global medical guide within a section detailing disorders due to substance use or addictive behaviors along with “Gambling disorder.”
The ICD-11 describes ”Gaming disorder” as recurrent video game playing that leads to “impaired control over gaming” and an “increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities,” despite “the occurrence of negative consequences.”
But health officials and video game industry representatives from across the globe have decried the WHO’s move saying it comes without adequate research. There still is not enough research to warrant the classification of a gaming disorder, wrote an international team of more than three dozen mental health researchers in a paper published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions last year three months before WHO announced its plans to include ”Gaming disorder” in the guide.
“Risk of abuse of a formalized new disorder that solely involves the behavior of playing video games – a stigmatized entertainment activity – can only expand the false-positive issues in psychiatry,” the researchers wrote. One of the researchers, Chris Ferguson, a psychologist and media researcher at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, resurfaced the paper on Twitter after the organization’s action. “This expansion will likely have a psychological and societal cost, potential harming the well-being of our children.”
The American Psychiatric Association has also said there was not “sufficient evidence” to consider gaming addiction as a “unique mental disorder.”
Citing similar concerns, video game groups from across the globe – including the Entertainment Software Association and UK Interactive Association – asked WHO to “rethink their decision.” WHO ”is an esteemed organization and its guidance needs to be based on regular, inclusive, and transparent reviews backed by independent experts,” their statement said. “‘Gaming disorder’ is not based on sufficiently robust evidence to justify its inclusion in one of the WHO’s most important norm-setting tools.”
But there has been research documenting cases of people playing video games for up to 20 hours a day to the detriment of other activities including work, sleep and eating, Shekhar Saxena, expert on mental health and substance abuse for WHO, told Reuters…. https://chicago.suntimes.com/well/2019/5/28/18642721/video-game-addiction-mental-disorder-world-health-organization

See, “Gaming Disorder” Is A Disease, World Health Organization Decides; Industry Responds: The WHO adds “gaming disorder” to its database of diseases. https://www.gamespot.com/articles/gaming-disorder-is-a-disease-world-health-organiza/1100-6467163/

Here is the press release from WHO:

World Health Assembly Update, 24 May 2019
24 May 2019
News release
Geneva

Health, environment and climate change
Member States agreed a new global strategy on health, environment and climate change: the transformation needed to improve lives and well-being sustainably through healthy environments. The strategy provides a vision and way forward on how the world and its health community need to respond to environmental health risks and challenges until 2030.
Risks include environmental physical, chemical, biological and work-related factors.
They also agreed a plan of action on climate change and health in small island developing States. The plan has four strategic lines of action: empowerment (supporting health leadership in small island developing States); evidence (building the business case for investment); implementation (preparedness for climate risks, adaptation and health-promoting mitigation policies); resources (facilitating access to climate and health finance).
Noncommunicable diseases
Member States agreed a decision to accelerate and scale up action to prevent and treat noncommunicable diseases, primarily cancer, diabetes, and heart and lung diseases, and to meet global targets to reduce the number of people dying too young from these diseases.
NCDs are the leading cause of premature death: WHO estimates that 15.2 million people died in 2016, aged between 30 and 70 years, from one of these conditions.
The Health Assembly heard that for the first time since the initial United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on NCDs in 2011, there are promising signs that health outcomes are improving thanks to action on NCDs. These include a downward trend in prevalence of tobacco smoking, heavy episodic drinking of alcoholic beverages and raised blood pressure.
Treatment interventions, including for hypertension, have also progressed through strengthening primary health care services. There has also been an increase in the number of countries with national standards for managing major NCDs through a primary care approach.
Later this year, WHO will publish a technical note setting out indicators for countries to annually measure progress on the commitments they made at the UN General Assembly to address NCDs and include in reports to the United Nations Secretary General.
World Chagas Day and Year of the Nurse and Midwife
Today Member States also agreed to establish World Chagas Day, to be celebrated each year on 14 April. Chagas, a neglected tropical disease, currently affects between 6 and 7 million people, mostly in Latin America. They also declared 2020 the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.
Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework
Further to requests made by the World Health Assembly in 2017 and 2018, today delegates considered the final text of WHO’s analysis of the issues raised by the 2016 PIP Framework Review Group’s recommendations concerning seasonal influenza and genetic sequence data. The Health Assembly also considered the information provided by the Secretariat regarding implementation of the recommendations contained in the Director-General’s report on progress to implement decision WHA70(10).
Delegates adopted a decision to request WHO, inter alia, to work with the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) and other partners to improve influenza virus sharing, and to prepare a report with Member States and stakeholders on influenza virus sharing and public health in the context of legislation and regulatory measures including those implementing the Nagoya Protocol.
Furthermore, the Health Assembly requested more information on the prototype search engine previously developed and asked WHO to explore possible next steps in raising awareness of the PIP Framework among databases, data users and data providers.
The decision also agreed to amend a footnote relating to SMTA2 (Standard Material Transfer Agreement 2) in the PIP Framework. This will help ensure that the integrity of the PIP Framework access and benefit-sharing system continues to be well maintained.
The PIP Framework is an international normative instrument adopted by the Health Assembly in 2011 that brings together WHO, Member States, industry, and other relevant stakeholders to implement a global approach to pandemic influenza preparedness and response. The objective of the PIP Framework is to ensure a fair, transparent, equitable, efficient and effective system for, on an equal footing, the sharing of influenza viruses with human pandemic potential and access to vaccines and other benefits.
https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/24-05-2019-world-health-assembly-update

There is something to be said for Cafe Society where people actually meet face-to-face for conversation or the custom of families eating at least one meal together. Time has a good article on The Magic of the Family Meal http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1200760,00.html See, also The Importance of Eating Together: Family dinners build relationships, and help kids do better in school. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/07/the-importance-of-eating-together/374256/

It also looks like Internet rehab will have a steady supply of customers according to an article reprinted in the Seattle Times by Hillary Stout of the New York Times. In Toddlers Latch On to iPhones – and Won’t Let Go https://www.seattletimes.com/life/lifestyle/toddlers-latch-onto-iphones-8212-and-wont-let-go/ Stout reports:

But just as adults have a hard time putting down their iPhones, so the device is now the Toy of Choice — akin to a treasured stuffed animal — for many 1-, 2- and 3-year-olds. It’s a phenomenon that is attracting the attention and concern of some childhood development specialists.

Looks like social networking may not be all that social.

Resources:
https://drwilda.com/tag/internet-addiction/
https://drwilda.com/tag/video-games/
https://drwilda.com/tag/internet-rehab/
https://drwilda.com/tag/parenting-style-linked-to-kids-internet-addiction/

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Rice University study: Digital device overload linked to obesity risk

3 Apr

Lisa Simonson wrote in the Livestrong article, What Are Good & Bad Healthy Lifestyle Choices?

Everyone makes both good and bad lifestyle choices. You may make the choices you do because of learned habits, stress, exhaustion and even timeliness. To live a healthy lifestyle you need to have a nutrient-rich diet, moderate exercise each week, get enough rest and avoid products that can lead to unhealthy habits…. https://www.livestrong.com/article/381713-what-are-good-bad-healthy-lifestyle-choices/

See, Why Digital Overload Is Now Central to the Human Condition https://singularityhub.com/2016/01/15/why-grappling-with-digital-overload-is-now-part-of-the-human-condition/#sm.0001du9uyrj9zefstyx14vmmdlhp8

Science Daily reported in Digital device overload linked to obesity risk:

If your attention gets diverted in different directions by smartphones and other digital devices, take note: Media multitasking has now been linked to obesity.
New research from Rice University indicates that mindless switching between digital devices is associated with increased susceptibility to food temptations and lack of self-control, which may result in weight gain.
“Increased exposure to phones, tablets and other portable devices has been one of the most significant changes to our environments in the past few decades, and this occurred during a period in which obesity rates also climbed in many places,” said Richard Lopez, a postdoctoral research fellow at Rice and the study’s lead author. “So, we wanted to conduct this research to determine whether links exists between obesity and abuse of digital devices — as captured by people’s tendency to engage in media multitasking.”
An upcoming print edition of Brain Imaging and Behavior will report on the study, entitled “Media multitasking is associated with higher risk for obesity and increased responsiveness to rewarding food stimuli.”
The research was conducted in two parts. In the first study, 132 participants between the ages of 18 and 23 completed a questionnaire assessing their levels of media multitasking and distractibility. This was done using a newly developed, 18-item Media Multitasking-Revised (MMT-R) scale. The MMT-R scale measures proactive behaviors of compulsive or inappropriate phone use (like feeling the urge to check your phone for messages while you’re talking to someone else) as well as more passive behaviors (like media-related distractions that interfere with your work).
The researchers found that higher MMT-R scores were associated with higher body mass index (BMI) and greater percentage of body fat, suggesting a possible link.
In follow-up research, 72 participants from the prior study underwent an fMRI scan, during which the researchers measured brain activity while people were shown a series of images. Mixed in with a variety of unrelated photos were pictures of appetizing but fattening foods.
When media multitaskers saw pictures of food, researchers observed increased activity in the part of the brain dealing with food temptation. These same study participants, who also had higher BMIs and more body fat, were also more likely to spend time around campus cafeterias.
Overall, Lopez said these findings, although preliminary, suggest there are indeed links between media multitasking, risk for obesity, brain-based measures for self-control and exposure to real-world food cues…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190402164520.htm

Citation:

Digital device overload linked to obesity risk
Date: April 2, 2019
Source: Rice University
Summary:
If your attention gets diverted in different directions by smartphones and other digital devices, take note: Media multitasking has now been linked to obesity.
Journal Reference:
Richard B. Lopez, Todd F. Heatherton, Dylan D. Wagner. Media multitasking is associated with higher risk for obesity and increased responsiveness to rewarding food stimuli. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 2019; DOI: 10.1007/s11682-019-00056-0

Here is the press release from Rice University:

Digital device overload linked to obesity risk
AMY MCCAIG
– APRIL 1, 2019POSTED IN: FEATURED STORIES
If your attention gets diverted in different directions by smartphones and other digital devices, take note: Media multitasking has now been linked to obesity.
Long Description
New research from Rice University indicates that mindless switching between digital devices is associated with increased susceptibility to food temptations and lack of self-control, which may result in weight gain.
“Increased exposure to phones, tablets and other portable devices has been one of the most significant changes to our environments in the past few decades, and this occurred during a period in which obesity rates also climbed in many places,” said Richard Lopez, a postdoctoral research fellow at Rice and the study’s lead author. “So, we wanted to conduct this research to determine whether links exists between obesity and abuse of digital devices — as captured by people’s tendency to engage in media multitasking.”
An upcoming print edition of Brain Imaging and Behavior will report on the study, entitled “Media multitasking is associated with higher risk for obesity and increased responsiveness to rewarding food stimuli.”
The research was conducted in two parts. In the first study, 132 participants between the ages of 18 and 23 completed a questionnaire assessing their levels of media multitasking and distractibility. This was done using a newly developed, 18-item Media Multitasking-Revised (MMT-R) scale. The MMT-R scale measures proactive behaviors of compulsive or inappropriate phone use (like feeling the urge to check your phone for messages while you’re talking to someone else) as well as more passive behaviors (like media-related distractions that interfere with your work).
The researchers found that higher MMT-R scores were associated with higher body mass index (BMI) and greater percentage of body fat, suggesting a possible link.
In follow-up research, 72 participants from the prior study underwent an fMRI scan, during which the researchers measured brain activity while people were shown a series of images. Mixed in with a variety of unrelated photos were pictures of appetizing but fattening foods.
When media multitaskers saw pictures of food, researchers observed increased activity in the part of the brain dealing with food temptation. These same study participants, who also had higher BMIs and more body fat, were also more likely to spend time around campus cafeterias.
Overall, Lopez said these findings, although preliminary, suggest there are indeed links between media multitasking, risk for obesity, brain-based measures for self-control and exposure to real-world food cues.
“Such links are important to establish, given rising obesity rates and the prevalence of multimedia use in much of the modern world,” he said of the findings.
Lopez and his fellow researchers hope the study will raise awareness of the issue and promote future work on the topic.
The study was co-authored by Todd Heatherton of Dartmouth College and Dylan Wagner of Ohio State University.
TAGS: Psychological Sciences, Social Sciences
About Amy McCaig
Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University’s Office of Public Affairs.

Well duh, it appears that lifestyle choice has a great deal to do with good food choices.

Patti Neighmond reported in the NPR story, It Takes More Than A Produce Aisle To Refresh A Food Desert:

In inner cities and poor rural areas across the country, public health advocates have been working hard to turn around food deserts — neighborhoods where fresh produce is scarce, and greasy fast food abounds. In many cases, they’re converting dingy, cramped corner markets into lighter, brighter venues that offer fresh fruits and vegetables. In some cases, they’re building brand new stores.
“The presumption is, if you build a store, people are going to come,” says Stephen Matthews, professor in the departments of sociology, anthropology and demography at Penn State University. To check that notion, he and colleagues from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine recently surveyed residents of one low-income community in Philadelphia before and after the opening of a glistening new supermarket brimming with fresh produce.
What they’re finding, Matthews says, is a bit surprising: “We don’t find any difference at all. … We see no effect of the store on fruit and vegetable consumption.”
Now, to be fair, the time was short. The store was only open for six months before residents were surveyed. Matthews says most residents knew that the store was there and that it offered healthy food. But only 26 percent said it was their regular “go to” market. And, as might be expected, those who lived close to the store shopped there most regularly.
Matthews says the findings dovetail with other work, and simply point to the obvious: Lots more intervention is needed to change behavior. For one thing, we’re all used to routine, and many of us will just keep shopping where we’ve been shopping, even if a newer, more convenient and bountiful store moves in.
But more than that, he says, many people, particularly in low-income food deserts, just aren’t used to buying or preparing healthy meals — they haven’t had the opportunity, until now.
Alex Ortega, a public health researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, agrees that providing access to nutritious food is only the first step.
“The next part of the intervention is to create demand,” he says, “so the community wants to come to the store and buy healthy fruits and vegetables and go home and prepare those foods in a healthy way, without lots of fat, salt or sugar.”
Ortega directs a UCLA project that converts corner stores into hubs of healthy fare in low-income neighborhoods of East Los Angeles. He and colleagues work with community leaders and local high school students to help create that demand for nutritious food. Posters and signs promoting fresh fruits and vegetables hang in corner stores, such as the Euclid Market in Boyle Heights, and at bus stops. There are nutrition education classes in local schools, and cooking classes in the stores themselves….
The jury’s still out on whether these conversions of corner stores are actually changing people’s diets and health. The evidence is still being collected. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/10/273046077/takes-more-than-a-produce-aisle-to-refresh-a-food-desert

In other words, much of the obesity problem is due to personal life style choices and the question is whether government can or should regulate those choices.

Personal Responsibility:

There is only one person responsible for your life and the vocation you have chosen. That person is the one you see in the mirror in the morning when you wake up. Don’t blame God, your boss, your parents, your former teachers, your coach, your co-workers or your dog. You and only you are responsible for your work life and what you have achieved. The sooner you accept this notion, the sooner you will begin to make changes that lead to a happier and more productive life and career. http://www.corethemes.com/coreconcepts/

It’s all about ME unless I have to take responsibility for ME. The same brilliant minds who think the government can substitute for family have fostered a single parenthood rate of 70% in the African-American community and about 50% for the population as a whole. Given the child abuse and foster care numbers, this plan hasn’t worked well. Sometimes folks have to be responsible for their choices.

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University of California Berkeley study: New 3D printer shapes objects with rays of light: The technology has potential to transform how products from prosthetics to eyeglass lenses are designed and manufactured

2 Feb

3D Printer.com describes what a 3D printer is:

3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.
The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.
3D printing is the opposite of subtractive manufacturing which is cutting out / hollowing out a piece of metal or plastic with for instance a milling machine.
3D printing enables you to produce complex (functional) shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods….
How Does 3D Printing Work?
It all starts with the creation of a 3D model in your computer. This digital design is for instance a CAD (Computer Aided Design) file. A 3D model is either created from the ground up with 3D modeling software or based on data generated with a 3D scanner. With a 3D scanner you’re able to create a digital copy of an object…. https://3dprinting.com/what-is-3d-printing/

See, What is 3D printing and how does it work https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx0Z6LplaMU

Alek Hidell of Anonymous posted 3D Printed Guns Make Gun Control Debate Obsolete:

That brings up a whole new debate. If you are able to manufacture banned, hard to get or untraceable guns, the entire existing gun debate becomes irrelevant. Who cares about background checks when you can make your AR at home?
Everyone should have seen this coming. Where there is a will, there is a way. The future of 3D printed guns is uncertain, but the conversation is only just beginning. I’m pretty sure that like all other digital information, once its out there, its out there and cannot be turned back. While politicians go around in circles with the current gun debate in the U.S., innovators like Cody Wilson will be there to show the folly in their ways…. http://anonhq.com/3d-printed-guns-make-gun-control-debate-obsolete/

3D printing is another area where technology will have profound impact on society.

Science Daily reported in New 3D printer shapes objects with rays of light: The technology has potential to transform how products from prosthetics to eyeglass lenses are designed and manufactured:

A new 3D printer uses light to transform gooey liquids into complex solid objects in only a matter of minutes.
Nicknamed the “replicator” by the inventors — after the Star Trek device that can materialize any object on demand — the 3D-printer can create objects that are smoother, more flexible and more complex than what is possible with traditional 3D-printers. It can also encase an already existing object with new materials — for instance, adding a handle to a metal screwdriver shaft — which current printers struggle to do.
The technology has the potential to transform how products from prosthetics to eyeglass lenses are designed and manufactured, the researchers say.
“I think this is a route to being able to mass-customize objects even more, whether they are prosthetics or running shoes,” said Hayden Taylor, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and senior author of a paper describing the printer, which appears online today (Jan. 31) in the journal Science.
“The fact that you could take a metallic component or something from another manufacturing process and add on customizable geometry, I think that may change the way products are designed,” Taylor said.
Most 3D printers, including other light-based techniques, build up 3D objects layer by layer. This leads to a “stair-step” effect along the edges. They also have difficulties creating flexible objects because bendable materials could deform during the printing process, and supports are required to print objects of certain shapes, like arches.
The new printer relies on a viscous liquid that reacts to form a solid when exposed to a certain threshold of light. Projecting carefully crafted patterns of light — essentially “movies” — onto a rotating cylinder of liquid solidifies the desired shape “all at once.”
“Basically, you’ve got an off-the-shelf video projector, which I literally brought in from home, and then you plug it into a laptop and use it to project a series of computed images, while a motor turns a cylinder that has a 3D-printing resin in it,” Taylor said. “Obviously there are a lot of subtleties to it — how you formulate the resin, and, above all, how you compute the images that are going to be projected, but the barrier to creating a very simple version of this tool is not that high.”
Taylor and the team used the printer to create a series of objects, from a tiny model of Rodin’s “The Thinker” statue to a customized jawbone model. Currently, they can make objects up to four inches in diameter.
“This is the first case where we don’t need to build up custom 3D parts layer by layer,” said Brett Kelly, co-first author on the paper who completed the work while a graduate student working jointly at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “It makes 3D printing truly three-dimensional….” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190131143330.htm

Citation:

New 3D printer shapes objects with rays of light
The technology has potential to transform how products from prosthetics to eyeglass lenses are designed and manufactured
Date: January 31, 2019
Source: University of California – Berkeley
Summary:
A new 3D printer uses light to transform gooey liquids into complex solid objects in only a matter of minutes. The printer can create objects that are smoother, more flexible and more complex than what is possible with traditional 3D-printers. It can also encase an already existing object with new materials, which current printers struggle to do.

Journal Reference:
Brett E. Kelly, Indrasen Bhattacharya, Hossein Heidari, Maxim Shusteff, Christopher M. Spadaccini, Hayden K. Taylor. Volumetric additive manufacturing via tomographic reconstruction. Science, 2019 DOI: 10.1126/science.aau7114

Here is the press release from UC Berkeley:

New 3D printer uses rays of light to shape objects, transform product design
By Kara Manke| January 31, 2019
A new 3D printer uses light to transform gooey liquids into complex solid objects in only a matter of minutes.
Nicknamed the “replicator” by the inventors — after the Star Trek device that can materialize any object on demand — the 3D printer can create objects that are smoother, more flexible and more complex than what is possible with traditional 3D printers. It can also encase an already existing object with new materials — for instance, adding a handle to a metal screwdriver shaft — which current printers struggle to do.
The technology has the potential to transform how products from prosthetics to eyeglass lenses are designed and manufactured, the researchers say.
“I think this is a route to being able to mass-customize objects even more, whether they are prosthetics or running shoes,” said Hayden Taylor, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley and senior author of a paper describing the printer, which appears online today (Jan. 31) in the journal Science.
“The fact that you could take a metallic component or something from another manufacturing process and add on customizable geometry, I think that may change the way products are designed,” Taylor said.
Most 3D printers, including other light-based techniques, build up 3D objects layer by layer. This leads to a “stair-step” effect along the edges. They also have difficulties creating flexible objects because bendable materials could deform during the printing process, and supports are required to print objects of certain shapes, like arches.
The new printer relies on a viscous liquid that reacts to form a solid when exposed to a certain threshold of light. Projecting carefully crafted patterns of light — essentially “movies” — onto a rotating cylinder of liquid solidifies the desired shape “all at once.”
“Basically, you’ve got an off-the-shelf video projector, which I literally brought in from home, and then you plug it into a laptop and use it to project a series of computed images, while a motor turns a cylinder that has a 3D printing resin in it,” Taylor said. “Obviously there are a lot of subtleties to it — how you formulate the resin, and, above all, how you compute the images that are going to be projected, but the barrier to creating a very simple version of this tool is not that high.”
Taylor and the team used the printer to create a series of objects, from a tiny model of Rodin’s “The Thinker” statue to a customized jawbone model. Currently, they can make objects up to four inches in diameter.
“This is the first case where we don’t need to build up custom 3D parts layer by layer,” said Brett Kelly, co-first author on the paper who completed the work while a graduate student working jointly at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “It makes 3D printing truly three-dimensional.”
The new printer was inspired by the computed tomography (CT) scans that can help doctors locate tumors and fractures within the body.
CT scans project X-rays or other types of electromagnetic radiation into the body from all different angles. Analyzing the patterns of transmitted energy reveals the geometry of the object.
“Essentially we reversed that principle,” Taylor said. “We are trying to create an object rather than measure an object, but actually a lot of the underlying theory that enables us to do this can be translated from the theory that underlies computed tomography.”
Besides patterning the light, which requires complex calculations to get the exact shapes and intensities right, the other major challenge faced by the researchers was how to formulate a material that stays liquid when exposed to a little bit of light, but reacts to form a solid when exposed to a lot of light.
“The liquid that you don’t want to cure is certainly having rays of light pass through it, so there needs to be a threshold of light exposure for this transition from liquid to solid,” Taylor said.
The 3D printing resin is composed of liquid polymers mixed with photosensitive molecules and dissolved oxygen. Light activates the photosensitive compound which depletes the oxygen. Only in those 3D regions where all the oxygen has been used up do the polymers form the “cross-links” that transform the resin from a liquid to a solid. Unused resin can be recycled by heating it up in an oxygen atmosphere, Taylor said.
“Our technique generates almost no material waste and the uncured material is 100 percent reusable,” said Hossein Heidari, a graduate student in Taylor’s lab at UC Berkeley and co-first author of the work. “This is another advantage that comes with support-free 3D printing.”
The objects also don’t have to be transparent. The researchers printed objects that appear to be opaque using a dye that transmits light at the curing wavelength but absorbs most other wavelengths.
“This is particularly satisfying for me, because it creates a new framework of volumetric or ‘all-at-once’ 3D printing that we have begun to establish over the recent years,” said Maxim Shusteff, a staff engineer at the Livermore lab. “We hope this will open the way for many other researchers to explore this exciting technology area.”
Indrasen Bhattacharya of UC Berkeley is co-first author of the work. Other authors include Christopher M. Spadaccini of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
This work was supported by UC Berkeley faculty startup funds and by Laboratory-Directed Research and Development funds from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The team has filed a patent application on the technique.
RELATED INFORMATION
• Volumetric additive manufacturing via tomographic reconstruction (Science)
• Taylor lab website
https://news.berkeley.edu/2019/01/31/new-3d-printer-uses-rays-of-light-to-shape-objects-transform-product-design/
If a person is intent on harm, there are a variety of methods. Table 20 of the Uniform Crime Report provides those statistics. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-20

Guns are not the only instruments of harm.

Evie Blad reported in the Education Week article, School Stabbings Signal Need for Broad Safety Plans: Experts question hyperfocus on guns:

Large-scale shootings have been a dominant driver of school safety debates, but a stabbing spree at a Pennsylvania high school this month should serve as a reminder that educators need to be prepared for a range of situations—including smaller, nonfatal incidents that don’t involve guns at all, school safety experts say.
Following most school shootings—like the December 2012 killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.—conversation quickly turns to the polarizing subject of gun policy.
And while some districts work to implement comprehensive safety plans that address mental-health concerns, school climate, and security procedures, policymakers often direct efforts and resources specifically toward the prevention of gun-related incidents, experts say.
“When we focus our policy responses almost entirely on firearms in these events, we overlook major things and we aren’t going to address the root of the problem,” said Laura E. Agnich, an assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.
That narrow focus can lead to “knee jerk” responses such as overly broad zero-tolerance policies and costly building upgrades, instead of research-based school climate measures and carefully practiced safety procedures, Ms. Agnich said.
In the 2010-11 school year, U.S. public schools reported 5,000 cases of student possession of a firearm or explosive device, and 72,300 cases of possession of a knife or other sharp object, according to the most recent information available from the U.S. Department of Education…. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/04/23/29knives_ep.h33.html

NI Direct of Northern Ireland has some great information for parents about knife crimes.

In the article, Keeping your child safe from knife crime, NI Direct advises:

Know the law
Before talking to your child about knives, you need to know the facts:
• it is illegal for anyone to carry a knife if they intend to use it as a weapon – even in self defence
• police can search anyone they suspect of carrying a knife
• carrying a knife could mean being arrested, going to court and getting a criminal record, or even a prison sentence
• Knives, offensive weapons and the law (crime, justice and the law section)
Knives in school
It is a criminal offence to have a knife or other weapon on school premises. If a knife or other weapon is found on a pupil, the police will be called and it is likely the pupil will be arrested.
• School attendance and absence: the law
• If your child is arrested and charged
Talking to your child about knives
The best way to stop your child getting involved with knives is to talk to them about the dangers. This may not be easy as they may not want to talk about it, but keep trying as this is the first step to keeping your child safe.
You should remind them that by carrying a knife they are:
• giving themselves a false sense of security
• potentially arming an attacker, increasing the risk of getting stabbed or injured
• breaking the law
Keep a look out
Sometimes there might be obvious reasons for you to think your child is carrying a knife – such as a knife going missing from the kitchen.
However, there are other more subtle signs that you and the parents of your child’s friends can look out for such as:
• school’s not going well or they don’t want to go in to school at all
• they’ve been a recent victim of theft/bullying/mugging
• a different network of friends who may be older than your child…
http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/keeping-your-child-safe-from-knife-crime

The American Knife and Tool Institute (AKTI) has a great discussion about the laws governing knives. https://www.akti.org/legislation/guide-understanding-knife-laws-america

School violence is a complex set of issues and there is no one solution. The school violence issue mirrors the issue of violence in the larger society. Trying to decrease violence requires a long-term and sustained focus from parents, schools, law enforcement, and social service agencies.

Resources:

A Dozen Things Students Can Do to Stop School Violence http://www.sacsheriff.com/crime_prevention/documents/school_safety_04.cfm

A Dozen Things. Teachers Can Do To Stop School Violence
http://www.ncpc.org/cms-upload/ncpc/File/teacher12.pdf

Preventing School Violence: A Practical Guide
http://www.indiana.edu/~safeschl/psv.pdf

Related:

Violence against teachers is becoming a bigger issue https://drwilda.com/2013/11/29/violence-against-teachers-is-becoming-a-bigger-issue/

Hazing remains a part of school culture
https://drwilda.com/2013/10/09/hazing-remains-a-part-of-school-culture/

FEMA issues Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans
https://drwilda.com/2013/07/08/fema-issues-guide-for-developing-high-quality-school-emergency-operations-plans/

Study: 1 in 3 teens are victims of dating violence
https://drwilda.com/2013/08/05/study-1-in-3-teens-are-victims-of-dating-violence/

Pediatrics article: Sexual abuse prevalent in teen population
https://drwilda.com/2013/10/10/pediatrics-article-sexual-abuse-prevalent-in-teen-population/

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University of Oxford study: Parental controls do not stop teens from seeing pornography

2 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/

In an attempt to mitigate the harmful effects of technology, some parents are using parental controls to establish boundaries for their children.

PC Magazine described Parental Controls in The Best Parental Control Software of 2018:
Web Filters, Time Limits, and Apps

At the very least, a good parental control tool features content filtering—the ability to block access to websites matching categories such as hate, violence, and porn. This type of filtering only really works if it’s browser-independent and works with secure (HTTPS) sites. With no HTTPS filtering, a smart teen could bypass the system using a secure anonymizing proxy website or even a different web browser in some cases. Most also have the option to permanently enable SafeSearch. Of course, the most capable solutions also keep a detailed log of your child’s web activity.
Access scheduling is another very common feature. Some applications let parents set a weekly schedule for device usage, some control internet use in general, and others offer a combination of the two. A daily or weekly cap on internet usage can also be handy, especially if it applies to all your kids’ devices….                                                       https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2346997,00.asp

A University of Oxford study questioned the effectiveness of parental controls.

Science Daily reported in Parental controls do not stop teens from seeing pornography:

The struggle to shape the experiences young people have online is now part of modern parenthood. As children and teenagers spend increasing amounts of time online, a significant share of parents and guardians now use Internet filtering tools (such as parental controls) to protect their children from accessing sexual material online. However, new research from the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford has found that Internet filtering tools are ineffective and in most cases, were an insignificant factor in whether young people had seen explicit sexual content.

Though the use of Internet filtering tools is widespread, there has been no conclusive evidence on their effectiveness until now. “It’s important to consider the efficacy of Internet filtering,” says Dr Victoria Nash, co-author on the study. “Internet filtering tools are expensive to develop and maintain, and can easily ‘underblock’ due to the constant development of new ways of sharing content.
Additionally, there are concerns about human rights violations — filtering can lead to ‘overblocking’, where young people are not able to access legitimate health and relationship information.”
The research used data from a large-scale study looking at pairs of children and caregivers in Europe, comparing self-reported information on whether children had viewed online sexual content despite the use of Internet filtering tools in their household. A second preregistered study was then conducted looking at teenagers in the UK.
Results of the research indicate that Internet filtering is ineffective and insignificant to whether a young person has viewed sexually explicit content. More than 99.5 percent of whether a young person encountered online sexual material had to do with factors beside their caregiver’s use of Internet filtering technology….
The researchers agree that there should be more research done to solidify these findings. “More studies need to be done to test Internet filtering in an experimental setting, done in accordance to Open Science principles,” says Przybylski. “New technologies should always be tested for effectiveness in a transparent and accessible way.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180712114610.htm

Citation:

Parental controls do not stop teens from seeing pornography

Date: July 12, 2018
Source: University of Oxford
Summary:
New research has found that Internet filtering tools are ineffective and in most cases, were an insignificant factor in whether young people had seen explicit sexual content.
Journal Reference:
Andrew K. Przybylski, Victoria Nash. Internet Filtering and Adolescent Exposure to Online Sexual Material. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2018; 21 (7): 405 DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2017.0466

Here is the press release from the University of Oxford:

Parental controls do not stop teens from seeing pornography

RESEARCHSOCIETY#TWLTW

The struggle to shape the experiences young people have online is now part of modern parenthood. As children and teenagers spend increasing amounts of time online, a significant share of parents and guardians now use Internet filtering tools (such as parental controls) to protect their children from accessing sexual material online. However, new research from the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford has found that Internet filtering tools are ineffective and in most cases, were an insignificant factor in whether young people had seen explicit sexual content.

Though the use of Internet filtering tools is widespread, there has been no conclusive evidence on their effectiveness until now. ‘It’s important to consider the efficacy of Internet filtering,’ says Dr Victoria Nash, co-author of the study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
‘Internet filtering tools are expensive to develop and maintain, and can easily ‘underblock’ due to the constant development of new ways of sharing content. Additionally, there are concerns about human rights violations – filtering can lead to ‘overblocking’, where young people are not able to access legitimate health and relationship information.’

The research used data from a large-scale study looking at pairs of children and caregivers in Europe, comparing self-reported information on whether children had viewed online sexual content despite the use of Internet filtering tools in their household. A second preregistered study was then conducted looking at teenagers in the UK.

Results of the research indicate that Internet filtering is ineffective and insignificant to whether a young person has viewed sexually explicit content. More than 99.5 percent of whether a young person encountered online sexual material had to do with factors beside their caregiver’s use of Internet filtering technology.
‘We were also interested to find out how many households would need to use filtering technologies in order to stop one adolescent from seeing online pornography,’ says co-author Professor Andrew Przybylski. ‘The findings from our preliminary study indicated that somewhere between 17 and 77 households would need to use Internet filtering tools in order to prevent a single young person from accessing sexual content. Results from our follow-up study showed no statistically or practically significant protective effects for filtering.’

‘We hope this leads to a re-think in effectiveness targets for new technologies, before they are rolled out to the population,’ says Nash. ‘From a policy perspective, we need to focus on evidence-based interventions to protect children. While Internet filtering may seem to be an intuitively good solution, it’s disappointing that the evidence does not back that up.’

The researchers agree that there should be more research done to solidify these findings. ‘More studies need to be done to test Internet filtering in an experimental setting, done in accordance to Open Science principles,’ says Przybylski. ‘New technologies should always be tested for effectiveness in a transparent and accessible way.’

Funding for this research was provided by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
All news
http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2018-07-12-parental-controls-do-not-stop-teens-seeing-pornography

There is something to be said for Cafe Society where people actually meet face-to-face for conversation or the custom of families eating at least one meal together. Time has a good article on The Magic of the Family Meal http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1200760,00.html It also looks like Internet rehab will have a steady supply of customers according to an article reprinted in the Seattle Times by Hillary Stout of the New York Times. In Toddlers Latch On to iPhones – and Won’t Let Go http://www.seattletimes.com/lifestyle/toddlers-latch-onto-iphones-8212-and-wont-let-go/ Stout reports:
But just as adults have a hard time putting down their iPhones, so the device is now the Toy of Choice — akin to a treasured stuffed animal — for many 1-, 2- and 3-year-olds. It’s a phenomenon that is attracting the attention and concern of some childhood development specialists.

Looks like social networking may not be all that social.

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

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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https://drwilda.com/

College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University: 3-DIY: Printing your own bioprinter

1 Apr

3D Printer.com describes what a 3D printer is:

3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.
The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.
3D printing is the opposite of subtractive manufacturing which is cutting out / hollowing out a piece of metal or plastic with for instance a milling machine.
3D printing enables you to produce complex (functional) shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods….
How Does 3D Printing Work?
It all starts with the creation of a 3D model in your computer. This digital design is for instance a CAD (Computer Aided Design) file. A 3D model is either created from the ground up with 3D modeling software or based on data generated with a 3D scanner. With a 3D scanner you’re able to create a digital copy of an object…. https://3dprinting.com/what-is-3d-printing/

See, What is 3D printing and how does it work https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx0Z6LplaMU

Alek Hidell of Anonymous posted 3D Printed Guns Make Gun Control Debate Obsolete:

That brings up a whole new debate. If you are able to manufacture banned, hard to get or untraceable guns, the entire existing gun debate becomes irrelevant. Who cares about background checks when you can make your AR at home?
Everyone should have seen this coming. Where there is a will, there is a way. The future of 3D printed guns is uncertain, but the conversation is only just beginning. I’m pretty sure that like all other digital information, once its out there, its out there and cannot be turned back. While politicians go around in circles with the current gun debate in the U.S., innovators like Cody Wilson will be there to show the folly in their ways…. http://anonhq.com/3d-printed-guns-make-gun-control-debate-obsolete/

3D printing is another area where technology will have profound impact on society.

Science Daily reported in 3-DIY: Printing your own bioprinter:

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a low-cost 3-D bioprinter by com modifying a standard desktop 3-D printer, and they have released the breakthrough designs as open source so that anyone can build their own system. The researchers — Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and Biomedical Engineering (BME) Associate Professor Adam Feinberg, BME postdoctoral fellow TJ Hinton, and Kira Pusch, a recent graduate of the MSE undergraduate program — recently published a paper in the journal HardwareX that contains complete instructions for printing and installing the syringe-based, large volume extruder (LVE) to modify any typical, commercial plastic printer.
“What we’ve created,” says Pusch, “is a large volume syringe pump extruder that works with almost any open source fused deposition modeling (FDM) printer. This means that it’s an inexpensive and relatively easy adaptation for people who use 3-D printers.”
As the researchers explain in their paper, “Large volume syringe pump extruder for desktop 3D printers,” most commercial 3-D bioprinters currently on the market range in cost from $10,000 to more than $200,000 and are typically proprietary machines, closed source, and difficult to modify.
“Essentially, we’ve developed a bioprinter that you can build for under $500, that I would argue is at least on par with many that cost far more money,” says Feinberg, who is also a member of the Bioengineered Organs Initiative at Carnegie Mellon. “Most 3-D bioprinters start between $10K and $20K. This is significantly cheaper, and we provide very detailed instructional videos. It’s really about democratizing technology and trying to get it into more people’s hands….” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180327132009.htm

Citation:

3-DIY: Printing your own bioprinter
Date: March 27, 2018
Source: College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Summary:
Researchers have developed a low-cost 3-D bioprinter by modifying a standard desktop 3-D printer, and they have released the breakthrough designs as open source so that anyone can build their own system.
Journal Reference:
1. Kira Pusch, Thomas J. Hinton, Adam W. Feinberg. Large volume syringe pump extruder for desktop 3D printers. HardwareX, 2018; 3: 49 DOI: 10.1016/j.ohx.2018.02.001

Here is the press release from Carnegie Mellon:

3-DIY: Printing your own bioprinter
by E. Forney and Emily Durham
Researchers in Adam Feinberg’s lab have developed a low-cost 3-D bioprinter by modifying a standard desktop 3-D printer, and they have released the breakthrough designs as open source so that anyone can build their own system.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a low-cost 3-D bioprinter by modifying a standard desktop 3-D printer, and they have released the breakthrough designs as open source so that anyone can build their own system. The researchers—Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and Biomedical Engineering (BME) Associate Professor Adam Feinberg, BME postdoctoral fellow TJ Hinton, and Kira Pusch, a recent graduate of the MSE undergraduate program—recently published a paper in the journal HardwareX that contains complete instructions for printing and installing the syringe-based, large volume extruder (LVE) to modify any typical, commercial plastic printer.
“What we’ve created,” says Pusch, “is a large volume syringe pump extruder that works with almost any open source fused deposition modeling (FDM) printer. This means that it’s an inexpensive and relatively easy adaptation for people who use 3-D printers.”
As the researchers explain in their paper, “Large volume syringe pump extruder for desktop 3D printers,” most commercial 3-D bioprinters currently on the market range in cost from $10,000 to more than $200,000 and are typically proprietary machines, closed source, and difficult to modify.
“Essentially, we’ve developed a bioprinter that you can build for under $500, that I would argue is at least on par with many that cost far more money,” says Feinberg, who is also a member of the Bioengineered Organs Initiative at Carnegie Mellon. “Most 3-D bioprinters start between $10K and $20K. This is significantly cheaper, and we provide very detailed instructional videos. It’s really about democratizing technology and trying to get it into more people’s hands.”
It’s about democratizing technology and trying to get it into more people’s hands.
Adam Feinberg, Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering & Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
And not only does the LVE cut down on cost, it also allows users to print artificial human tissue on a larger scale and at higher resolution, opening doors for researchers, makers, and professionals to experiment with 3-D printing biomaterials and fluids.
“Usually there’s a trade-off,” explains Feinberg, “because when the systems dispense smaller amounts of material, we have more control and can print small items with high resolution, but as systems get bigger, various challenges arise. The LVE 3-D bioprinter allows us to print much larger tissue scaffolds, at the scale of an entire human heart, with high quality.”
“Bioprinting has historically been limited in volume,” adds Pusch, “so essentially the goal is to just scale up the process without sacrificing detail and quality of the print.”
Pusch, the first author on the paper, was a research assistant in Feinberg’s lab for three years during her undergraduate career. During that time, she received an International Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (iSURF) to work in the Netherlands, and also interned with General Electric’s Center for Additive Technology Advancement. Following her graduation from Carnegie Mellon in December of 2017, she began a spring internship at Formlabs in Boston and has since accepted a second internship position for the summer at Blue Origin in Seattle. Pusch has also co-authored a second paper in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering with Hinton, “3D Printing PDMS Elastomer in a Hydrophilic Support Bath via Freeform Reversible Embedding.” As a research assistant in Feinberg’s lab, Pusch was able to experience real-world application of her research early on in her academic career. When asked about her experience in Feinberg’s lab, Pusch emphasizes how grateful she is to have had the opportunity to work with such supportive and brilliant mentors.
You might also like…
• Engineer hacks 3-D printer to rebuild hearts
• Bioengineered Organs Initiative
In their paper, the researchers demonstrated the system using alginate, a common biomaterial for 3-D printing, and using the lab’s signature Freeform Reversible Embedding of Suspended Hydrogels (FRESH) technique.
Feinberg’s lab aims to produce open source biomedical research that other researchers can expand upon. By making their research widely accessible, Feinberg’s lab hopes to seed innovation widely, to encourage the rapid development of biomedical technologies to save lives.
“We envision this as being the first of many technologies that we push into the open source environment to drive the field forward,” says Feinberg. “It’s something we really believe in.”
For media inquiries, contact Emily Durham at edurham1@andrew.cmu.edu. https://engineering.cmu.edu/news-events/news/2018/03/23-bioprinter-feinberg.html

If a person is intent on harm, there are a variety of methods. Table 20 of the Uniform Crime Report provides those statistics. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-20
Guns are not the only instruments of harm.

Evie Blad reported in the Education Week article, School Stabbings Signal Need for Broad Safety Plans: Experts question hyperfocus on guns:

Large-scale shootings have been a dominant driver of school safety debates, but a stabbing spree at a Pennsylvania high school this month should serve as a reminder that educators need to be prepared for a range of situations—including smaller, nonfatal incidents that don’t involve guns at all, school safety experts say.
Following most school shootings—like the December 2012 killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.—conversation quickly turns to the polarizing subject of gun policy.
And while some districts work to implement comprehensive safety plans that address mental-health concerns, school climate, and security procedures, policymakers often direct efforts and resources specifically toward the prevention of gun-related incidents, experts say.
“When we focus our policy responses almost entirely on firearms in these events, we overlook major things and we aren’t going to address the root of the problem,” said Laura E. Agnich, an assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.
That narrow focus can lead to “knee jerk” responses such as overly broad zero-tolerance policies and costly building upgrades, instead of research-based school climate measures and carefully practiced safety procedures, Ms. Agnich said.
In the 2010-11 school year, U.S. public schools reported 5,000 cases of student possession of a firearm or explosive device, and 72,300 cases of possession of a knife or other sharp object, according to the most recent information available from the U.S. Department of Education…. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/04/23/29knives_ep.h33.html

NI Direct of Northern Ireland has some great information for parents about knife crimes.

In the article, Keeping your child safe from knife crime, NI Direct advises:

Know the law
Before talking to your child about knives, you need to know the facts:
• it is illegal for anyone to carry a knife if they intend to use it as a weapon – even in self defence
• police can search anyone they suspect of carrying a knife
• carrying a knife could mean being arrested, going to court and getting a criminal record, or even a prison sentence
• Knives, offensive weapons and the law (crime, justice and the law section)
Knives in school
It is a criminal offence to have a knife or other weapon on school premises. If a knife or other weapon is found on a pupil, the police will be called and it is likely the pupil will be arrested.
• School attendance and absence: the law
• If your child is arrested and charged
Talking to your child about knives
The best way to stop your child getting involved with knives is to talk to them about the dangers. This may not be easy as they may not want to talk about it, but keep trying as this is the first step to keeping your child safe.
You should remind them that by carrying a knife they are:
• giving themselves a false sense of security
• potentially arming an attacker, increasing the risk of getting stabbed or injured
• breaking the law
Keep a look out
Sometimes there might be obvious reasons for you to think your child is carrying a knife – such as a knife going missing from the kitchen.
However, there are other more subtle signs that you and the parents of your child’s friends can look out for such as:
• school’s not going well or they don’t want to go in to school at all
• they’ve been a recent victim of theft/bullying/mugging
• a different network of friends who may be older than your child…
http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/keeping-your-child-safe-from-knife-crime

The American Knife and Tool Institute (AKTI) has a great discussion about the laws governing knives. https://www.akti.org/legislation/guide-understanding-knife-laws-america

School violence is a complex set of issues and there is no one solution. The school violence issue mirrors the issue of violence in the larger society. Trying to decrease violence requires a long-term and sustained focus from parents, schools, law enforcement, and social service agencies.

Resources:

A Dozen Things Students Can Do to Stop School Violence http://www.sacsheriff.com/crime_prevention/documents/school_safety_04.cfm

A Dozen Things. Teachers Can Do To Stop School Violence
http://www.ncpc.org/cms-upload/ncpc/File/teacher12.pdf

Preventing School Violence: A Practical Guide
http://www.indiana.edu/~safeschl/psv.pdf

Related:

Violence against teachers is becoming a bigger issue https://drwilda.com/2013/11/29/violence-against-teachers-is-becoming-a-bigger-issue/

Hazing remains a part of school culture
https://drwilda.com/2013/10/09/hazing-remains-a-part-of-school-culture/

FEMA issues Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans
https://drwilda.com/2013/07/08/fema-issues-guide-for-developing-high-quality-school-emergency-operations-plans/

Study: 1 in 3 teens are victims of dating violence
https://drwilda.com/2013/08/05/study-1-in-3-teens-are-victims-of-dating-violence/

Pediatrics article: Sexual abuse prevalent in teen population
https://drwilda.com/2013/10/10/pediatrics-article-sexual-abuse-prevalent-in-teen-population/

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/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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