As nearly 4 million children head off to kindergarten this week, a new report indicates that their social and emotional skills are as important for academic success as cognitive skills, such as knowing the ABCs and 1-2-3s. The report, commissioned by the Child Mental Health Foundations and Agencies Network (FAN), a group of private foundations and federal agencies, indicates that social and emotional school readiness is critical for young children's early school success-and may even set the stage for success later in life.
The Child Mental Health Foundations and Agencies Network (FAN) commissioned the monograph in order to raise the level of awareness about this critical issue: Children who do not begin kinder-garten socially and emotionally competent are often not successful in the early years of school—and can be plagued by behavioral, emotional, academic, and social development problems that follow them into adulthood. FAN intends that these documents broaden research, inform policy, and encourage the integration of new scientific concepts about social and emotional school readiness into practice. You can read the monograph in this issue of Vidyya.
In FDA news, the FDA has authorized use of labeling health claims about the role of plant sterol or plant stanol esters in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) for foods containing these substances. This interim final rule is based on FDA's conclusion that plant sterol esters and plant stanol esters may reduce the risk of CHD by lowering blood cholesterol levels.
In research news, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is heading an initiative to catalog the HLA gene complex and explore its differences among populations worldwide. Nearly $20 million over five years will go to the International Histocompatibility Working Group (IHWG), a network of almost 200 laboratories in more than 70 countries, to set up a centralized HLA gene database.
And finally, DNA and malaria vaccine research get a hand from Bioject, Inc and the US Navy. The US Naval Medical Research Center began a clinical study of a DNA-based malaria vaccine. The DNA-based malaria vaccine is made by Vical Incorporated, and Vical has licensed DNA-based malaria vaccines to Aventis Pasteur. The Navy is using a needle-free drug delivery system, the Bioject System®, to deliver the vaccine.
The articles in today's Vidyya are:
As always, we hope you enjoy the issue.