Autistic people's nerve cells differ before birth, new study finds

"Such studies will lead to a better understanding of brain development in both autistic and typical individuals."

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  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges.
  • Although a diagnosis of autism can typically be made around the age of 2, the average age for diagnosis in the United States is after 4 years old.
  • A new study shows that the atypical development of autism in human brain cells starts at the very earliest stages of brain organization, which can happen as early as the third week of pregnancy.
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Sex, condoms, and STDs: CDC warns about teen risk behaviors

The CDC's latest youth risk survey houses some scary numbers but shows that evidence-based sex education is working.

  • The CDC's 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System found that only 10 percent of sexually active youths pair a condom with birth control, as experts recommend.
  • Thirty years of survey data show sexually risky behavior trending downward among teens compared to their 1990s counterparts.
  • Evidence-based sex education makes sex safer for teens, and teens provided such an education tend to wait longer before becoming active.
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    Study: Black babies are less likely to die when cared for by a Black doctor

    Why do Black newborns have a relatively high mortality rate in the U.S. — and how does the race of the doctor factor in?

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    • A new study examined nearly 2 million births in Florida from 1992 to 2015.
    • The results showed that, when cared more by a white doctor, Black newborns are 3 times more likely to die than white newborns.
    • The researchers said several "disturbing" factors are likely at play.
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    Study: Smoking weed while pregnant lowers infant birth weight

    While many people don't think its all that bad, a new study suggests you should lay off while expecting.

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    • A new study suggests that smoking weed during pregnancy reduces birth weight and gestational age.
    • The study follows on the heels of several others suggesting that marijuana has a variety of negative side effects.
    • Despite this, many people still consider marijuana to be harmless.
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    Can exercise during pregnancy reduce obesity in offspring?

    According to researchers at Washington State University, the answer is yes.

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    • Washington State University researchers found that exercising while pregnant might reduce the risk of obesity in children.
    • The study, conducted on mice, also discovered that offspring of fit mothers have better metabolic health.
    • Infant mice whose mothers exercised had higher levels of brown adipose tissue, aka brown fat.
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