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November 09, 2013

Solving Problems in a Connected Society
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With today’s technology, countless millions of American have world wide connectivity. What if we could put that power to work to solve some of society’s problems? One man thinks we can. Then, one in one hundred children in the US has some form of autism. How can a parent know if their toddler can be one of them?
Episode Segments:
 
InfoTrak: Solving Problems in a Connected Society
Brian Reich, expert in new media and social networking, SVP and Global Editor for Edelman, author of Shift & Reset: Strategies for Addressing Serious Issues In A Connected Society believes that our connected society can be more effectively used to address the nation’s critical challenges. He explained how non-profit organizations and volunteer groups should take advantage of rapidly changing technologies and new methods of communication to overcome the huge barriers facing the cause/philanthropy community.
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InfoTrak: Identifying Autism
1 in 100 children in the US have some form of autism. Neuroscientist Dr. Karen Pierce tested a simple checklist that can reliably diagnose autism in children by age 1. She explained the most common signs of the disorder and discussed recent advancements in treating it. She also offered optimistic advice for a parent whose child is diagnosed with autism.
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InfoTrak: Drink to Your Health
Joshua Rosenbloom, a student at Harvard Medical School, led a study that examined whether alcohol can be good for the heart. His research found that women who survived a heart attack had a 35% lower chance of dying if they drank wine, beer or hard liquor in moderation.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Brian Reich
Brian Reich is senior vice president - global editor for Edelman, where he provides editorial vision and strategy for the company. He is well known for his expertise in new media, Web 2.0, social networks, mobile, community, ecommerce, brand marketing, cause branding, and more. Brian is the author of Shift & Reset: Strategies for Addressing Serious Issues in a Connected Society (Wiley, 2011) and co-author of Media Rules!: Mastering Today's Technology to Connect with and Keep Your Audience (Wiley, 2007). Brian contributes as a Fast Company Expert, hosts a regular podcast discussion about the impact of media and technology on society and teaches consumer behavior and marketing strategy in the graduate school of communications at Columbia University. Brian began his career in politics - working on several campaigns around the country. He spent two years as briefing director to Vice President Gore in the White House and during the 2000 presidential campaign. He has spent the past decade providing strategy, analysis, and support to corporations, nonprofit organizations and charities, media companies and other groups that are looking to solve complex problems. He has held senior roles at leading digital, PR, and public affairs agencies, including Mindshare Interactive Campaigns, Cone Inc., and EchoDitto. He has led projects for many of the largest and most influential brands and nonprofit organizations, as well as media companies, start-ups, and political/advocacy groups. Brian is chairman of the board of Investigate West, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the art and craft of investigative journalism. He is a senior advisor to iFOCOS, an independent non-profit and non-partisan think tank that uses research, education, and action to improve the digital experience. Brian serves as the "Principal Evangelist" for Games That Give, a video game company that allows gamers to earn donations for charity while they play. Brian attended the University of Michigan and graduated from Columbia University. He lives in New York City with his wife, Karen Dahl, their son, Henry, and daughter, Lucy.

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Karen Pierce
One of the most striking features of autism is the failure to develop or to understand complex social relationships. The overarching goal of Dr. Pierce’s research program is to elucidate the neural underpinnings of these social deficits in autism. Her studies have utilized several approaches, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and behavioral assays. Functional imaging is playing an increasingly important role in the study of children with autism. Research has shown that dramatic structural and functional brain abnormalities emerge within the first few years of life with this disorder. In contrast to studies in adults, a relative end-point of development, pediatric studies may provide more direct clues to the pathobiology of autism since investigations are occurring while developmental pathology is in process or soon thereafter. Dr. Pierce has successfully obtained imaging data on over several hundred children, both normal and autistic. As the principal investigrator of the functional brain imaging core at the UCSD Autism Center of Excellence (ACE), established by NIH in 2007, she is one of only a handful of investigators at UCSD, and nationwide, who is utilizing sleep fMRI as a research tool to study the functional brain development of babies at-risk for autism as young as 12-months in age. Given that autism is typically not diagnosed until 2–3 years of age, she has been training a network of pediatricians throughout San Diego County on her innovative procedure—the 1-Year Well-Baby Check-Up Approach—for detecting infants and toddlers at-risk for autism at the earliest age possible. The procedure, which uses biological and behavioral profiles, was designed and developed by Dr. Pierce to identify children who are missing significant social milestones by their 1-year checkups. Dr. Pierce will be expanding this research track as a co-investigator and leader of the Clinical Phenotype: Recruitment and Assessment Core, at the UCSD ACE. Participating San Diego-area pediatricians, as they identify at-risk infants, will be referring the families to the UCSD ACE for free evaluations. Dr. Pierce also focuses on the use of eye tracking technology to establish patterns of eye gaze that may signify risk in babies. In late 2010 she discovered that babies at-risk for autism as young as 12-months spend greater time visually examining geometric patterns than they do social patterns. This newly described attribute of babies at-risk for autism which received worldwide press may aid in earlier diagnoses. Dr. Pierce’s growing recognition and stature in the field of autism research is evidenced by invited lectures at the national and international levels. Additionally, she has served as an ad hoc reviewer for several well-regarded journals, including Archives of General Psychiatry, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Journal of Child Psychology, and Brain. Her research is funded by several grants from the National Institute of Mental Health as well as private organizations such as Autism Speaks, National Foundation for Autism Research, and the Organization for Autism Research.

Visit the Autism Center of Excellence website.