Sniffle-proof your whole family
This isn't just the start of holiday season; it's germ season as well. That's why many of us will be hacking away and looking a lot like Rudolph before winter is over. "The average adult gets one to three respiratory illnesses each year, and women, especially if they're moms, tend to catch even more," says Charles Gerba, an environmental microbiologist at the University of Arizona and coauthor of The Germ Freak's Guide to Outwitting Colds and Flu.
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Crowdfunding a Genome Sequencing Project
World's first crowdfunded genome sequencing project uncovers 4-year-old's unknown genetic disease
Rare Genomics Institute, Ivy League medical research center identify novel gene variant
St. Louis, MO - The Rare Genomics Institute (RGI), a non-profit organization that uses genome sequencing and other biotechnology to help children with rare genetic diseases, and an Ivy League medical research center have jointly identified a new gene variant in four-year-old Maya Nieder that may indicate a brand-new disease.
This finding marks the first time that a patient-initiated, crowdfunded genome initiative project has uncovered the genetic basis of a rare disease.
Suffering from global developmental delays, Maya has undergone multiple operations, is unable to speak, and has difficulty hearing. Despite visiting countless physicians, her condition had remained unexplained for years. Doctors agreed that "something genetic" was responsible for her condition, yet six genetic tests - each screening for a myriad of known genetic defects - yielded no definitive explanation.
"When you've been looking for the answer for three and a half years, you don't really expect one anymore," said Maya's mother, Dana Nieder, who began working with RGI in the spring of 2011.
By turning to the Internet to raise funds from a large base of donors, RGI is pioneering a funding model for rare disease research. In an overwhelming response, donors across the United States contributed more than $3,500 to the research project for Maya Nieder, with most amounts between $5 and $50 each. The project reached its fundraising goals within just six hours of launching the online campaign.
The funds for Maya and her parents facilitated full exome sequencing to hunt for the disease gene, and less than one year into the project, researchers have found what they believe to be the culprit behind Maya's illness: a gene active in fetal development and early childhood.
Maya's is one of RGI's ten pilot projects that have been created to help children with rare diseases through genome sequencing. By providing a comprehensive look at a patient's genetic code, sequencing enables researchers to identify genetic defects that might otherwise elude standard medical testing.
Since standard genetic testing can only find previously identified mutations, Maya's condition would have remained unexplained without sequencing.
"Though we need to do further research to confirm this first gene discovery, it is a major milestone," said RGI founder Jimmy Lin, MD, PhD, a physician-scientist on the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis and a 2012 TED Fellow. "The most exciting part of Maya's project is that we are enabling research that could not exist otherwise. Through RGI's network of academic institutions and crowdfunding, we hope to remove the barriers to technology access and funding to empower families like Maya's to advance research for their loved one's rare disease."
As research into Maya's condition continues, her researchers are studying the protein coded by the gene in question. This work will help Maya's physicians better understand her condition and may someday point toward a treatment for Maya and other children like her.
The Rare Genomics Institute (RGI) is a non-profit organization that uses genome sequencing and other biotechnology to help children with rare genetic diseases. RGI hopes to provide new answers and treatments to those affected by rare, otherwise unexplainable genetic disorders. Through crowdfunding, RGI aims to bridge the gap between science and patient care by securing funds for patients needing sequencing. For more information about RGI, please visit www.raregenomics.org.
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Maya is a four-year old delight. She's wiggly and giggly and has a partner in crime, her dog Parker. She loves animals, other kids, being naughty, and life as a whole. Dana, Maya's mother, writes an award-winning blog called Uncommon Sense at niederfamily.blogspot.com.
Moms on the Run in the Twin Cities
Women all over the Twin Cities are dropping pounds, making new friends, and improving their health. Their secret? Moms on the Run! Designed for all fitness levels, Moms on the Run was initially created to move even the most inactive woman towards lifestyle change and give her the confidence and training structure to complete a 5K Race. Now in its fifth year of operation right here in the Twin Cities, Moms on the Run offers a structured 18-week training program in 12 metro locations.
If you've been waiting for the motivation to get your start as a runner, this class is for you. Programs are available for walkers, beginning and intermediate runners. Run your first 5K/10K/10 mile or half-marathon, improve your speed and endurance, or stay motivated in your walking routine. The group is for all women, not just moms, but jogging strollers are welcome. This class will focus on interval training to increase metabolism and burn more fat. You'll start out slowly and walk/jog/run your way up to your very first race or a new personal record!
Moms love to say they put their families first...but forget they are part of the family. Feel better. Do better. Your kids are watching you and the example you are setting for a lifestyle of health and fitness. If you are a woman who is too busy, too stressed, too tired....join us this spring. You'll find a supportive community of women eager to encourage you toward your health and fitness goals. Join Moms on the Run for Fitness, Fun, and Friendship!
Moms on the Run Twin Cities Locations: Apple Valley/Rosemount, Blaine, Coon Rapids/Andover, Eden Prairie, Forest Lake, Hastings, Maple Grove, Shoreview, Stillwater, White Bear Lake, Woodbury
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For more information or to register go to: MomsOnTheRun.com
When to Keep a Sick Child Home
It's cold and flu season, which means plenty of moms are facing that age-old parenting dilemma: Do I send my coughing, sniffly child to school? And if I make the wrong choice, will the school nurse call a few hours later asking me to take him back home?
Figuring out when to keep your child home from school and when he's well enough to go back isn't always easy, says Dr. Loraine Stern, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at UCLA School of Medicine in California.
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"The truth is, you can't always tell how sick a child really is," says Stern. For instance, some kids may seem totally fine at breakfast but take a quick turn for the worse and end up very sick two hours later.
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Jillian Michaels: Fitness Ultimatum 2011 - 10 Fitness Tips
10 fitness tips from the upcoming fitness video game, Jillian Michaels: Fitness Ultimatum 2011 exclusively for the Wii this November.
1. Exercise does more than just tone your body, it boosts self esteem, improves mood and revs up metabolism. So suck it up and get moving!
2. If you are looking to shed those last stubborn pounds, you need to increase the intensity of your workouts. Try working at 85% of your Maximum Heart Rate for optimal results.
3. Getting bored with that same old exercise routine? Chances are you body is too. It's probably time to switch things up if you want to continue seeing results.
4. Using proper form when working out is the key to getting the results you want and preventing injuries. Think quality over quantity. Take the time to perfect your form in order to get the results you want and keep your body healthy and strong.
5. Do not exercise on an empty stomach. This way you'll have energy during your workouts and you will burn fat instead of muscle.
6. Don't over do it. When starting out consult your physician. Work to beginner / intermediate levels. Stay at around 70% of your MHR. IN a couple of weeks or so as you become stronger and more fit begin to up your intensity for best results.
7. For results fast try circuit training. This is an exercise technique that utilizes a series of moves in swift succession with no rest in between. For example: Push ups into squats followed by jumping jacks. This method allows your workouts to strengthen while burning fat at the same time.
8. To ramp up your fitness regimen try incorporating a technique called HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. This simply means working short bouts (30 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds, 2 minutes) of cardio into your strength training routine.
9. Six pack abs are not about crunches. You simply CAN NOT spot reduce fat. The best way to get the washboard tummy is by burning the fat off on top of the muscle with a combination of diet, cardio, and over all resistance training.
10. When you are on the treadmill don't hold on. If you hold on while walking or jogging it decreases the intensity thus decreasing your calorie burn by up to 24%
If there are any writers out there who would like to review the Wii version for MomTalk, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Jillian Michaels: Fitness Ultimatum 2011 is the only video game with workouts designed and endorsed by Jillian Michaels, exclusively for the Wii. Players can use a wide assortment of exercises to work out each muscle of the body. Designed for all fitness levels, Jillian Michaels: Fitness Ultimatum 2011 allows players to monitor their fitness goals with Fitness Ultimatum's resolution-based tracking system, and a brand new High Intensity workout mode offers the most challenging workouts in the series.
The Worst (and Best) Sweets for Your Teeth
By Dr. Carolyn Taggart-Burns
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When trick-or-treaters ring my doorbell on Halloween, I toss a toothbrush in their bag. But make no mistake -- our neighborhood might as well be Candy Land. My kids got a scary amount of sweets last year, and they only went to a couple of houses. And because they were both too young to eat much of their loot, guess who was tempted by it? Yep, hubby (who has a major sweet tooth) and me, the dentist.
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By Eric Butterman
You know staying fit is important, especially if you want to manage your heartburn. But who wants to exercise indoors when it's sunny and warm outside? Fortunately, you don't have to! It's time to try nature's gym for a workout that's just as good, if not better!
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1. Instead of a calf machine Hit the hills. With just a slight incline, your calves will get a workout mere calf raises can never match. There's no substitute for outdoor terrain, says Kelli Calabrese, a Texas-based trainer and co-author of Feminine, Firm & Fit (Great Atlantic Publishing Group 2004).
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