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July 5th, 2010
04:01 PM ET

Small delay in school start times=big benefits

Pushing back school start times by just 30 minutes each day can improve alertness, mood and health in adolescents, according to a study published in JAMA's Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

"Ranging from the amount of sleep they were getting, to self-reported sleepiness, to self-reported depressed mood to tardiness, the study demonstrates you can make a positive impact with relatively small change in start time, " said lead study author Dr. Judith A. Owens, director of the pediatric sleep disorder center at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.

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July 5th, 2010
04:00 PM ET

Kids seeing more ads for fast food, fewer for sweets

Children are seeing fewer television ads for sweets and beverages than they used to,  a new report in the online edition of the  Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine suggests.  However, the study also suggests, children are being exposed to more TV ads for fast food.

Lisa Powell, a researcher at the Institute for Health and Research Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago and her team looked at advertising targeted at children from 2003 to 2007.   On average, they found children between the ages of 2 and 11 are seeing  30 percent fewer television ads for fruit drinks and regular soft drinks.  Exposure to ads for sweets, such as candy and cookies, went down  35 percent.  However, exposure to ads for fast food went up 8 percent.  Powell says 2- to 5-year-olds now see more fast food ads than cereal ads.  "That suggests a lot of branding is going on.  They are starting marketing of brand loyalty at an earlier age," she says.

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July 5th, 2010
04:00 PM ET

With cyberbullying, there's no safe place, study finds

It used to be that the bully in the schoolyard taunted victims face to face. Today, attacks of name calling or being the target of rumors can come via e-mails and text messages, sometimes anonymously, from a teenage cyberbully sitting at a computer or texting on a cell phone long after the school bell has rung and the halls have gone dark. Now, new research is painting a worrisome portrait of those attackers and their victims.

A study published in this month's Archives of General Psychiatry examined the social and psychological risk factors associated with cyberbullying. Researchers in Finland surveyed more than 2,200 teens in the seventh and ninth grades. The study found the majority of victims who were repeatedly attacked in cyberspace perceived a definite or severe amount of difficulty in their lives. They reported having headaches, ongoing physical pains and trouble sleeping. One in four felt unsafe.

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July 5th, 2010
01:24 PM ET

Single gene may set human brains apart from other species

Only one gene controls brain development in humans, according to new research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Scientists used embryonic stems cells to identify one gene – called Pax6 -that leads to the development of brain and spinal cord cells.  Dr. Su-Chun Zhang, a neuroscientist and professor of anatomy at the university, says his team used a stem cell model because it couldn't possibly study this on fetal brains.

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July 5th, 2010
11:22 AM ET

Apps tell you to reapply sunscreen

Beep.  Beep.  Your phone can tell you it’s time to reapply sunscreen before you turn tomato red.

Here are some apps rated by users on Apple’s online store in sunburn protection:

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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