As we move ahead into the genomic era, the public must grasp the importance of the impact of exposure to toxins such as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) on the health of their children. Thus, we propose to translate the findings of our Center Investigators using a social-media approach that engages the community stakeholders in developing the communication materials. Our goals are 1) to translate what scientists learn in their research to easily understood information for the public and 2) to increase science literacy of the public on the topic of epigenetics with respect to ETS and disorders such as Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Ultimately, the goal of our science education approach is to help the public make appropriate decisions to abstain from smoking tobacco products and to avoid exposure to others who smoke. To achieve these goals, we have 6 specific aims: 1) Develop a simple science primer that uses "lay language" to communicate the effects of ETS on one's genes and how these effects can be "handed down" to one's offspring. Various stakeholders (e.g., doctors, pregnant patients, teens) will participate in the science primer development;2) Disseminate the science primer in community health centers to stakeholders along with a "call for contest applications";3) Develop a working document that translates the major findings of each of the 3 Center projects into "lay language" (add to the science primer in a section called "newest research");4) Hold a "contest" in which stakeholders construct their own YouTube videos that convey any of the NICHES findings. A committee of "judges" will choose a set of winning videos for a small field test and eventual dissemination;5) Conduct a field-test in community health centers using the winning YouTube videos to determine the stakeholders'attitudes and knowledge about the effects of ETS on themselves and their children;6) Work with NIEHS to disseminate the YouTube videos and "science primers" on their website;post links to these materials online from the NICHES website and our science education website (

Public Health Relevance

We will engage local stakeholders in the development of educational materials that translate the latest findings about ETS and its effects on children's behavior. We will use a social media approach to run a contest for stakeholders to develop YouTube videos about the newest findings from Center scientists. Winner's videos will be field-tested in community health centers to determine the impact on stakeholders'attitudes &knowledge about ETS effects on children's behaviors.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1-LKB-K)
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Duke University
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Slotkin, Theodore A; Card, Jennifer; Stadler, Ashley et al. (2014) Effects of tobacco smoke on PC12 cell neurodifferentiation are distinct from those of nicotine or benzo[a]pyrene. Neurotoxicol Teratol 43:19-24
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