January 10, 2010

DT Friday Freakout: Weekend Washout Edition

It's 10 o'clock. Is it too late to ruin your weekend with alarming news from the worlds of science, medicine, safety, and parenting advice?

  • The BBC reports that a parental survey of some kind finds that "'One in six' children have difficulty learning to talk." Meanwhile, I'm like, "Dude, 100% of them talk funny over there, what's the big deal?" [BBC via dt reader katie, who deftly picks apart the ridiculous results on her own blog.]
  • A tiny UK study reveals that IVF kids have "different DNA," which means they are "more likely to be diabetic or obese," and also control the weather, shoot laser beams from their eyes, and possibly turn into Dark Phoenix and destroy the universe. Like I said, it's a small study. [telegraph uk via dt minivan/mutant correspondent jj daddy-o]
  • The percentage of newborns sleeping on their backs has been as flat as the back of a SIDS-proofed baby's head since 2001. The researchers don't see fit to mention any numbers, but non-white kids have it worse. [eurekalert]
  • Whoa, an expert panel from the National Toxicology Program met last month to evaluate the health risks posed by soy infant formula, which sounds ominous except they came away thinking it's no big deal. [nih.gov, evaluation summary in pdf]
  • Even though they don't point out that the studies were for adult elective circumcision, and even though they do admit that "As many of these studies were done in developing countries, it is possible that the protective effects of circumcision may be lower in the United States," the AMA's still got a stiffie for routine circumcision. They actually cite "prevention of foreskin infections" as an "additional health benefit." Cutting off a nut lowers testicular cancer risk, too. [ama-assn.org]

2 Comments

That IVF article isn't very good. The NYT has a similar article from last year that does a better job explaining what they think the risks are and why ( short answer: epigentics). The tough part is teasing apart the effects of epigenetic issues in IVF from the other health issues associated with IVF. Multiples, " advanced" material age, or other health issues of mom and dad that may have brought the family to the fertility clinic to begin with.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/17/health/17ivf.html?pagewanted=all

Just to say thanks for the link - it's a fairly new blog but I'm going to try and keep it updated regularly.

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