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NEWS:

Parents Should Get Their Children The Covid Vaccine, Says St. Jude Pediatric Virologist

With children as young as 12 able to get the COVID vaccine as soon as today, Miguela Caniza, MD MPH, Director of the St. Jude Global Infectious Diseases Program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital today encouraged parents get their children vaccinated as soon as possible:

“Vaccinating children for COVID-19 is a key component to reaching the two-thirds threshold necessary to obtain herd immunity and stop the pandemic from continuing to spread and mutate,” said Dr. Caniza. “This week’s emergency authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for ages 12 to 15 is an important step in helping to control this virus in a safe and effective way for a larger percentage of the population.”

When the coronavirus first emerged, Dr. Caniza urged her colleagues of infectious disease leaders from 24 countries who were gathering at St. Jude to set aside their agendas and immediately focus on the virus.

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Autism Biomarkers Could Save Billions in Healthcare Costs According to Recent Study

The use of accurate biomarkers for detecting autism spectrum disorder (ASD) could result in saving billions of dollars in healthcare costs, according to a paper recently published in the journal Autism Research.

Titled "Evidence–based Use of Scalable Biomarkers to Increase Diagnostic Efficiency and Decrease the Lifetime Costs of Autism," the paper showed that if more children with ASD are identified early and referred for early intervention services, government supported healthcare and educational systems would realize substantial cost savings of more than $30 billion/year.

The study looked at two recently researched and published biomarker technologies, a molecular saliva test and a remote eye gaze tracking technology. The research study was a collaborative effort with several leading autism researchers and clinicians, including Autism Speaks' Chief Science Officer and John Carroll U

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NIH-Funded Research Team Develops Language Test For People With Down Syndrome

A research team funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed a test to evaluate the expressive language skills of people with Down syndrome, a condition resulting from an extra copy or piece of chromosome 21. Expressive language is the use of words to convey meaning to others. Language delays are common in people with Down syndrome, and the study authors believe their test provides a more effective way to evaluate prospective language interventions, compared to current evaluation methods.

The study was conducted by Angela Thurman, Ph.D., of the University of California, Davis, and appears in the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Funding was provided by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

The 107 participants in the study ranged from 6 to 23 years old, and all

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Battling Public Health Misinformation Online

Social media and web-based news channels became a communication superhighway for correct and incorrect public health information during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study of this vast amount of information, known as infodemiology, is critical to building public health interventions to combat misinformation and help individuals, groups, and communities navigate and distill crucial public health messages.

In a novel effort to combat COVID-19 misinformation, a group of women researchers, including nurse scientists from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing), launched the Dear Pandemic social media campaign in March 2020. It delivers curated, comprehensive, and timely information about the COVID-19 pandemic in a question-and-answer format. Complex topics such as COVID-19 aerosol transmission, risk reduction strategies to avoid infection, and excess mortality are expl

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