You know, because K2 chose this week to basically challenge Death at every turn, I've had a hard time freaking out over anything the hyperbolic science reporting industry can come up with, but I'll try:
- The NY Times reports that something in the IVF process somewhere might affect the expression of some genes or other, which might increase the risk of some rare disorders, maybe even cancer some day. In other words, they need to do some major studies. [nyt]
- Seriously, maybe we shouldn't have nicknamed her K2, because she's climbing anything that's not nailed to the ground. If she's silent for more than 5-10 seconds, you know she's getting in trouble. While giving the kid her bath last night, my wife turned around and saw K2 on tiptoes on an Ikea Mammut [mah-MOOT, btw] stool, trying to reach the toothbrushes. Then she shooed her away, only to watch her head into the kitchen to climb up the drawers like stairs. She climbed the bookcases to reach the computers. She still has a vertical welt down her face, somewhere between Blofeld and Tony Montana, after she did a headplant over the arm of the sofa onto the edge of the toy box. It's as if our job as parents has been transformed from raising our kid to just keeping her alive.
- Researchers at Vanderbilt University are developing robotic playmates for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder which can identify their emotional state by tracking galvanic skin responses and pulse rate and such. Obviously, this is just another step in the robots' insidious plan to enslave us all. [eurekalert]
- The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm has published the results of a study of 17 year nearly 750,000 first-time mothers, and found that almost half of the 892 women hospitalized for post-partum psychosis had had no previous reports of mental illness. While there is probably some "specific" risk factor, they say it's not smoking, drinking, or not living with the baby daddy. So fire up and party on, there's only a 1.2 in 1,000 chance you'll lose touch with reality! [sciencedaily]
- Canadian university research on the sociological impact of online parenting forums in a "moderate-sized Canadian city" found that it was wonderfully supportive and informative for moms, but that the chickfest alienated dads. "There were some indications that our [all mom] study group felt that parenting was primarily their responsibility and that fathers didn't need to be included in the discussions." ORLY? [eurekalert; shockingly, dads didn't need to be included in the abstract, either]
- A UMich kinesiologist has developed a baby treadmill--which looks just like a regular treadmill, only smaller--that can help a Down Syndrome kid walk up to 6 months earlier than average. [video, too: sciencedaily]