May 21, 2013 ? Early-life exposure to traffic-related air pollution was significantly associated with higher hyperactivity scores at age 7, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
The research is detailed in a study being published Tuesday, May 21, in Environmental Health Perspectives, a peer-reviewed open access journal published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), an institute within the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The research was conducted by faculty members from the UC College of Medicine’s Department of Environmental Health in collaboration with Cincinnati Children’s. Nicholas Newman, DO, director of the Pediatric Environmental Health and Lead Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s, was the study’s first author.
“There is increasing concern about the potential effects of traffic-related air pollution on the developing brain,” Newman says. “This impact is not fully understood due to limited epidemiological studies.
“To our knowledge, this is the largest prospective cohort with the longest follow-up investigating early life exposure to traffic-related air pollution and neurobehavioral outcomes at school age.” Scientists believe that early life exposures to a variety of toxic substances are important in the development of problems later in life.
Newman and his colleagues collected data on traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) from the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS), a long-term epidemiological study examining the effects of traffic particulates on childhood respiratory health and allergy development. Funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, CCAAPS is led by Grace LeMasters, PhD, of the environmental health department. Study participants — newborns in the Cincinnati metropolitan area from 2001 through 2003 — were chosen based on family history and their residence being either near or far from a major highway or bus route.
Children were followed from infancy to age 7, when parents completed the Behavioral Assessment System for Children, 2nd Edition (BASC-2), assessing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related symptoms including attention problems, aggression, conduct problems and atypical behavior. Of the 762 children initially enrolled in the study, 576 were included in the final analysis at 7 years of age.
Results showed that children who were exposed to the highest third amount of TRAP during the first year of life were more likely to have hyperactivity scores in the “at risk” range when they were 7 years old. The “at risk” range for hyperactivity in children means that they need to be monitored carefully because they are at risk for developing clinically important symptoms.
“Several biological mechanisms could explain the association between hyperactive behaviors and traffic-related air pollution,” Newman says, including narrowed blood vessels in the body and toxicity in the brain’s frontal cortex.
Newman notes that the higher air pollution exposure was associated with a significant increase in hyperactivity only among those children whose mothers had greater than a high school education. Mothers with higher education may expect higher achievement, he says, affecting the parental report of behavioral concerns.
“The observed association between traffic-related air pollution and hyperactivity may have far-reaching implications for public health,” Newman says, noting that studies have shown that approximately 11 percent of the U.S. population lives within 100 meters of a four-lane highway and that 40 percent of children attend school within 400 meters of a major highway.
“Traffic-related air pollution is one of many factors associated with changes in neurodevelopment, but it is one that is potentially preventable.”
LeMasters, Patrick Ryan, PhD, Linda Levin, PhD, David Bernstein, MD, Gurjit Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD, James Lockey, PhD, Manuel Villareal, MD, Tiina Reponen, PhD, Sergey Grinshpun, PhD, Heidi Sucharew, PhD, and Kim Dietrich, PhD, were co-authors of the study.
Funding was provided by NIEHS and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Kepler, the space telescope designed to help us find other Earth-like planets, is on the fritz. Scientists hope they will be able to fix it remotely, but if they can’t, its brief, brilliant career could be over. Since it began operations in 2009, peering continuously at the same field of 145,000 stars in the constellations Cygnus and Lyra, it has found more than 2,700 planet-candidates. Here are eight of its most remarkable discoveries.?
1. Kepler-22b: Goldilocks planet
Kepler has made an array of stunning discoveries ? from oddball solar systems to sun-scorched planets that orbit their stars in less than an Earth day. But Kepler-22b was the first discovery that truly validated the mission.
The goal for Kepler has always been to find Earth-mass planets orbiting sun-like stars at Earth-like distances. In other words, to find Earth’s cosmic twins. Kepler-22b was perhaps a bit more like a big brother ? it’s larger than Earth ? but its discovery was proof that Kepler was on the right track.
Scientists announced the discovery of Kepler-22b in December 2011. It was smack dab in the middle of its star’s so-called habitable zone ? the “Goldilocks zone” close enough to allow water to be liquid but far enough to ensure that it didn’t burn off. Kepler-22b orbits its sun once every 290 days. Moreover, its sun is the same G-type star as our sun, though slightly smaller and cooler.
The planet itself has a radius 2.4 times larger than Earth. Scientists are not sure about the composition of the planet, but some have suggested it could be a mini-Neptune with a global ocean and a rocky core. If it has an atmosphere, the temperature could be 72 degrees F.
“It’s so exciting to imagine the possibilities,” Natalie Batalha, the Kepler deputy science chief, told the Associated Press in 2011. Floating on that “world completely covered in water” could be like being on an Earth ocean, and “it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that life could exist in such an ocean.”
Sign up to receive a selection of Editors Picks of the best stories of the week every Saturday.
MOSCOW (AP) ? The U.S. Embassy employee accused of spying in Moscow flew out of Russia on Sunday, five days after he was ordered to leave the country, NTV television reported.
The Kremlin-loyal TV station broadcast video Sunday evening showing Ryan Fogle going through passport control and security at Sheremetyevo International Airport. He also was pictured in the company of embassy staff as he wheeled a suitcase into the Moscow airport, which is used by Delta Air Lines for its direct flights to New York.
Russian security services announced Tuesday that Fogle, a 29-year-old third secretary in the U.S. Embassy, had been caught trying to recruit a Russian counterterrorism officer. Fogle, who was accused of working for the CIA, was widely shown on Russian television wearing a blond wig.
The U.S. Embassy on Sunday again refused to comment on the case.
The attention given to the Fogle case in Russia contrasts with recent moves by Washington and Moscow to develop closer cooperation on counterterrorism in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15.
The bombing suspects ? Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his elder brother, Tamerlan, who was killed by police ? have roots in the Russian republic of Chechnya. Tamerlan spent six months last year in neighboring Dagestan, now the center of an Islamic insurgency, and U.S. investigators have been working with the Russians to try to determine whether he had established any contacts with the militants.
Little is known publicly about Fogle’s duties and activities in Russia.
The U.S. State Department confirmed that Fogle worked as an embassy employee but would give no details about his job. The CIA declined comment.
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The Associated Press’ president and chief executive says the government‘s secret seizure of two months of reporters’ phone records has already had a chilling effect on newsgathering, a week after the subpoenas were revealed publicly.
Gary Pruitt on Sunday called the Justice Department‘s actions “unconstitutional” and said the AP hasn’t ruled out legal action.
In his first television interviews since the AP reported the Justice Department seizure, Pruitt said it has made sources less willing to talk to AP journalists and, in the long term, could limit Americans’ information from all news outlets.
Pruitt told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the government has no business monitoring the AP’s newsgathering activities.
“And if they restrict that apparatus … the people of the United States will only know what the government wants them to know and that’s not what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment,” he said.
In a separate interview with the AP, Pruitt said, “It’s too early to know if we’ll take legal action but I can tell you we are positively displeased and we do feel that our constitutional rights have been violated.”
He said President Barack Obama “should rein in that out-of-control investigation.”
“They’ve been secretive, they’ve been overbroad and abusive ? so much so that taken together, they are unconstitutional because they violate our First Amendment rights,” he added.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the government needs to stop leaks by whatever means necessary.
“This is an investigation that needs to happen because national security leaks, of course, can get our agents overseas killed,” he said.
Republican Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said the government should focus on those who leak sensitive national security matters and not on journalists who report on them. The Texas Republican said his committee should hold hearings on how the Justice Department obtained phone records from AP reporters and editors.
“What confuses me is the focus on the press, who have a constitutional right here and we depend on the press to get to the bottom of so many issues that we, as individuals, cannot,” Cornyn said.
Cornyn said the Justice Department’s actions were part of a pattern for Obama’s administration to quiet its critics.
“It’s a culture of cover-ups and intimidation that is giving the administration so much trouble,” Cornyn said.
He also renewed his call for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign, citing the contempt citation the House of Representatives voted against him last year for refusing to turn over documents in a failed government gun smuggling sting.
White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said the president “has complete faith in Attorney General Holder.” He also insisted the White House was not involved in the decision to seek AP phone records.
“A cardinal rule is we don’t get involved in independent investigations. And this is one of those,” Pfeiffer said.
Although the Justice Department has not explained why it sought phone records from the AP, Pruitt pointed to a May 7, 2012, story that disclosed details of a successful CIA operation in Yemen to stop an airliner bomb plot around the one-year anniversary of the May 2, 2011, killing of Osama bin Laden.
The AP delayed publication of that story at the request of government officials who said it would jeopardize national security.
“We respected that, we acted responsibly, we held the story,” Pruitt said.
Pruitt said the AP published the story only after officials from two government entities said the threat had passed. He said the administration still asked that the story be held until an official announcement the next day, a request the AP rejected.
The news service viewed the story as important because White House and Homeland Security Department officials were saying publicly there was no credible evidence of a terrorist threat to the U.S. around the one-year anniversary of bin Laden’s death.
“So that was misleading to the American public. We felt the American public needed to know this story,” Pruitt said.
The AP has seen an effect on its newsgathering since the disclosure of the Justice Department’s subpoena, he said.
“Officials that would normally talk to us and people we talk to in the normal course of newsgathering are already saying to us that they’re a little reluctant to talk to us,” Pruitt said. “They fear that they will be monitored by the government.”
The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of personal and work telephone records for several reporters and editors, as well as general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery.
“It was sweeping and broad and beyond what they needed to do,” Pruitt said.
He objected to the “Justice Department acting on its own being the judge, jury and executioner in secret,” saying the AP would not back down.
“We’re not going to be intimidated by the abusive tactics of the Justice Department,” he said.
McConnell and Pfeiffer were interviewed on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Cornyn appeared on “Face the Nation.”
IRS gave Obama foundation fast, retroactive non-profit approval while stalling conservative applications (Michellemalkin)By in wellgrounded
Over the last several weeks, you may have noticed some changes at Gizmodo?and not just the layout. We’ve been sharpening our coverage of design, concepts, and the objects and ideas that are shaping our world, and growing our team to help us do it. Now it’s time to meet the people who are leading that charge?starting with our new Editor in Chief, Geoff Manaugh.
If you’re not familiar with Geoff
What makes Geoff so perfect for Gizmodo is his innate interest in the things Gizmodo has always been drawn toward. How and why things are built, how they look, what they can do to elevate our lives; those have always been the core of our coverage. Hardware is more than a spec sheet. Software is more than code. And technology is more than just gadgets. It’s systems, cities, buildings, and art. We’ll continue providing the core gear coverage we always have. But we’re adding layers that reflect the way technology itself has evolved.
Geoff’s not the only new face. In fact, our team has already started to grow. Last month Gizmodo welcomed Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan as our new Design Editor. The posts she’s already written for Gizmodo speak for themselves, but her influence extends far beyond her own writing. As we continue to increase our focus on design, art, and architecture, Kelsey has and will continue to set our course towards a more tasteful tomorrow.
Joining her and Geoff will be Matt Novak, who might be better known to you as Paleofuture. For the last several years, Matt has carved out a role as the world’s foremost retrofuturist; from Jetsons tech to yesteryear’s newspapers of tomorrow, no one covers our visions of the future with more intelligence and verve. We’re thrilled that he’s chosen to make Gizmodo his new home?Paleofuture name, content, and voice intact?starting today.
Last?for now?and certainly not least, Adam Clark Estes will also be joining Gizmodo next week as a Senior Writer. Adam had previously been pulling double duty at Motherboard and The Atlantic Wire, and will be bolstering our tech coverage with the same whip-smart, informed, opinionated takes that have become his hallmark those places and elsewhere.
And even beyond the people we’ve added, we’re proud to announce also that the leading architectural voice that is Architizer has made a home for itself on Kinja
It’s a lot of change in a short time, but all of it for the good. We’re not content to just say that we’re interested in broadening our scope; we’re putting the pieces in place that will make Gizmodo every bit as authoritative a voice in the areas of design and architecture and the future as we’ve always been in tech. And we’re only just getting started.
By Margarita Antidze and Liza Dobkina
TBILISI/ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – Large crowds of anti-gay protesters broke up homosexual rights rallies in Georgia and Russia on Friday, underlining deep hostility in the former Soviet bloc.
Priests and thousands of Georgians pushed their way through police barriers protecting around 50 people marking International Day Against Homophobia in a square in capital Tblisi.
Waving banners marked with the slogans “Stop Homosexual Propaganda in Georgia” and “Not in our city”, they forced the small groups of campaigners to flee in buses.
In the Russian city of St Petersburg, an aggressive, mostly male crowd threw smoke bombs over police barriers and shouted “Death to Faggots” and other insults.
A hugely outnumbered band of gay rights campaigners also had to pile into buses minutes after the start of their rally.
“Stalin would have showed you and exiled all these,” a man dressed in urban camouflage shouted as activists hurried away.
Attitudes towards gay people in Russia and former Soviet states are largely shaped by repressive Stalin-era policies, when sodomy was punishable by up to five years in jail.
The resurgent Christian Orthodox Church, which says homosexuality is a sin, also holds great sway.
“The rally… had a funeral-like atmosphere since homophobic crimes in Russia are on the rise… by the kind of people who view Jews as abnormal, blacks as abnormal and gays and lesbians as second-class citizens,” Yuri Gavrikov, head of the Russian LGBT-rights organization Ravnopravo, or Equal Rights, said.
CHURCH URGES BAN
In Georgia, around 28 people including policemen and journalists, suffered slight injuries in the clashes, government officials said.
“We won’t allow these sick people to hold gay parades in our country … It’s against our traditions and our morals,” said Zhuzhuna Tavadze, brandishing a bunch of nettles and adding that she was ready to fight.
Later in the evening, rowdy crowds took to the streets in the capital of the former Soviet republic, shouting and roughing up anyone they thought might be homosexual.
Amnesty International called for the perpetrators to be punished, saying in a statement that impunity for such acts was becoming a “dangerous trend in Georgia”.
The head of Georgia’s influential Orthodox Church in the mostly Christian nation of 4.5 million condemned the violence, but called on authorities to ban gay-rights rallies.
“We don’t approve of violence, but propaganda of this (homosexuality) must not be allowed. It is a sin,” said Patriarch Ilia II.
While support for same-sex marriage and other forms of equality increases in the West, in Russia and several other former Soviet states gay people say they are facing increasing discrimination.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, two years after the Soviet Union broke up. But the stigma remains strong and much of the gay community is underground.
A survey by independent pollster Levada last year found that nearly 50 percent of Russians believe homosexuals should be given medical or psychological treatment.
Gay and lesbian groups in Russia say a recent law banning gay “propaganda” encourages prejudice.
A 23-year-old man in the southern city of Volgograd was tortured and killed in May after revealing he was gay during a drinking session.
(Reporting by Margarita Antidze and Liza Dobkina; Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
PARIS (AP) ? David Beckham has been named Paris Saint-Germain‘s captain for Saturday’s French League game, his final home match before retiring.
PSG clinched the league title last weekend, making Beckham the first English player to win the championship in four countries after title success with Manchester United, Real Madrid and the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Beckham was given a rousing reception at Parc des Princes before the game with Brest. Fans broke into chants of “Merci, David” when his name was read over the stadium speaker.
The 38-year-old former England captain announced Thursday he is retiring at the end of the season. He has yet to say if he will play in PSG’s last game, at Lorient on May 26.