A ‘touching sight’: How babies’ brains process touch builds foundations for learning

Touch is the first of the five senses to develop, yet scientists know far less about the baby’s brain response to touch than to, say, the sight of mom’s face, or the sound of her voice.

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Heart health at risk for Latinas over worries about deportation

A recent study conducted by researchers at UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley’s Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH) found that worry about deportations was associated with multiple cardiovascular health risk factors in Latinas from California’s Salinas Valley, an area with a large immigrant community. The study was published in the journal, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, on January 9.

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Girls’ social camouflage skills may delay or prevent autism diagnosis

On parent-reporting measures, girls with autism seem to struggle more than boys with performing routine tasks like getting up and dressed or making small talk, even when the study group is normalized to meet similar basic clinical diagnostic criteria across sexes. The findings add to the growing evidence that girls with autism may show symptoms differently than boys, and that some of the social difficulties experienced by females with autism may be masked during clinical assessments.

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Boat traffic threatens the survival of Panama’s Bocas Del Toro dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins in Panama’s Bocas Del Toro Archipelago should be designated as endangered say the authors of a new study. Biologists working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute discovered that the roughly 80 dolphins in the archipelago do not interbreed with other Caribbean bottlenose dolphins. Their low numbers jeopardize their long-term survival, which is threatened by increasing local boat traffic that killed at least seven dolphins in 2012.

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