Daily Rounds: Older Dads And Autism; West Nile Soaring; The Food Waste App; Maggots In The Nursing Home

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Father's Age Is Linked To Risk Of Autism And Schizophrenia (The New York Times) — "The findings also counter the longstanding assumption that the age of the mother is the most important factor in determining the odds of a child having developmental problems. The risk of chromosomal abnormalities, like Down syndrome, increases for older mothers, but when it comes to some complex developmental and psychiatric problems, the lion’s share of the genetic risk originates in the sperm, not the egg, the study found. Previous studies had strongly suggested as much, including an analysis published in April that found that this risk was higher at age 35 than 25 and crept up with age. The new report quantifies that risk for the first time, calculating how much it accumulates each year. The research team found that the average child born to a 20-year-old father had 25 random mutations that could be traced to paternal genetic material. The number increased steadily by two mutations a year, reaching 65 mutations for offspring of 40-year-old men. The average number of mutations coming from the mother’s side was 15, no matter her age, the study found."

CDC: West Nile Outbreak One Of The Largest In U.S. (AP via — ‘‘We’re in the midst of one of the largest West Nile outbreaks ever seen in the United States,’’ said Petersen, who oversees the CDC’s mosquito-borne illness programs. So far, 1,118 illnesses have been reported, about half of them in Texas. In an average year, fewer than 300 cases are reported by mid-August. There have also been 41 deaths this year, the CDC said. And cases seem to be accelerating: about 400 of the cases were reported in just the last week. Experts think the mild winter, early spring and very hot summer helped stimulate mosquito breeding and the spread of the virus. Mosquitoes pick up the virus from birds they bite and then pass it on to people."

Food Waste Is Overwhelming. Here Are FIve Things People Are Doing About It (NPR) — "About 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. The average American consumer wastes 10 times as much food as someone in Southeast Asia — up 50 percent from Americans in the 1970s. Yet, 1 in 6 Americans doesn't have enough to eat, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And food waste costs us about $165 billion a year and sucks up 25 percent of our freshwater supply...[In one example] Students at Arizona State University are developing a mobile phone app called FlashFood designed to connect restaurants with excess food to community groups in need, according to the blog EarthTechling. And Love Food Hate Waste is a free app for iPhone and Android that offers hints, tips and recipe ideas to keep home cooks from trashing those squishy tomatoes too soon."

Nursing Home Where Maggots Found On Residents Clears State Review (The Bangor Daily News) “Each room in the facility was examined for a variety of things including the presence of flies, the tightness of screens and cleanliness,” he wrote in an email. “Newton Center staff was also interviewed about protocols followed in incidents involving fly larvae. The inspector found staff to be appropriately trained and that all protocols were appropriately followed in this case.” Fly larvae were found on a resident at the July Street nursing home during a routine skin check. Newton Center staff reported the incident to DHHS, prompting the investigation."

This program aired on August 23, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.