No Child Left Behind Act Spurs New Data


Data has shown that functional connectivity in the brain is different between obese and lean adolescents.


Tomorrow’s my daughter’s pre-op appointment for her tympanoplasty next week, and I’m fielding all kinds of anxious questions - mostly inquiries about whether or not she’s going to have a shot, and if so, how many. I do believe that she’d rather down an ounce of whiskey and be given something to bite on than face a single needle. It’s hard to convince a 7-year-old that any trip to the surgical center is a thing, but I’ve been trying to emphasize that after just a little bit of discomfort, she’ll be able to hear better in school. Like she wants to go back to school the week after next, right? It took two of these discussions before I realized that I was actually adding insult to injury.

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July 25, 2008 issue of

And speaking of school, there is a lot of ballyhoo here in Georgia regarding learning differences between the sexes, and a new study made the news last week that has added to my concern regarding whether or not segregating girls and boys is really such a great idea. I’m a little skeptical of data that comes from standardized tests required by the No Child Left Behind Act — okay, skeptical — but it was still refreshing to read that girls have caught up to boys in math skills in primary and secondary levels of education. The study was published in the There’s a theory that perhaps the stereotypical belief that boys are better in girls in math prevents some girls from pursuing that study.May I be the first here to say, “You think?”

Another study I took note of online today found that functional connectivity in the brain is different between obese and lean adolescents. The researchers looked at MEG registrations of 19 female subjects (11 obese, 8 controls) in a resting state, closed eye condition over a period of 5 minutes. Data showed that the resting-state functional connectivity was increased in the brains of obese patients as compared to the controls, which the researchers believe may have an impact on brain function. It is a small study, but something that may be worth thinking about as we struggle to get our kids’ weight under control.




IBM is developing software in conjunction with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology that will crunch that data from devices in NICU, helping doctors detect changes in infant condition. The study is being done in three international hospitals, but the press release only names ’s Hospital for Sick Children. I presume that there are no participating side.

I’ll leave you witha little fun for the days that you wonder if you should be flying through the air and completing super-human feats with a cape or without one. I need to take the quiz a couple more times, but I’m pretty sure that the way you qualify as Wonder Woman depends on your choice of underwear…

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