Smoke from wildfires appears to pose the greatest health hazard to children


aerosol: (adj. aerosol) A tiny solid or liquid particle suspended in air or as a gas. Aerosols can be natural, such as fog or gas from volcanic eruptions, or man-made, such as smoke from burning fossil fuels.

asthma: A disease that affects the respiratory tracts of the body, which are the tubes through which animals breathe. Asthma blocks these airways because of swelling, production of too much mucus, or narrowing of the tubes. As a result, the body can expand to inhale air, but loses the ability to exhale properly. Allergies are the most common cause of asthma. Asthma is the leading cause of hospitalization and the leading chronic disease responsible for children missing school.

biologist: A scientist who studies living things.

colleague: One who works with another; work colleague or team member.

to develop: To arise or cause to arise naturally or through human intervention, such as by manufacture. (in biology) To grow as an organism from conception to adulthood, often undergoing changes in chemical composition, size, mental maturity, or sometimes even shape.

development: (in biology) The growth of an organism from conception to adulthood, which often undergoes changes in chemical composition, size, and sometimes even shape.

DNA: (short for deoxyribonucleic acid) A long, double-stranded, helically shaped molecule inside most living cells that carries genetic instructions. It is built on the basis of phosphorus, oxygen and carbon atoms. In all living things, from plants and animals to microbes, these instructions tell cells what molecules to make.

environment: The sum of all the things that exist around some organism or process, and the state these things create. Environment can refer to the weather and the ecosystem in which the animal lives, or perhaps temperature and humidity (or even the placement of things near an object of interest).

epidemiologist: Like public health detectives, these researchers seek to link a particular disease to what may have caused it and/or allowed it to spread.

genetic: Relating to chromosomes, DNA, and the genes contained in DNA. The field of science that deals with these biological instructions is known as genetics. People who work in this field are geneticists.

hormone: (in zoology and medicine) A chemical produced in a gland and then carried in the bloodstream to another part of the body. Hormones control many important bodily functions, such as growth. Hormones work by starting or regulating chemical reactions in the body. (in botany) A chemical substance that serves as a signaling compound that tells plant cells when and how to develop, or when to grow old and die.

immune system: A collection of cells and their reactions that help the body fight infections and fight foreign substances that can trigger allergies.

macaque: A monkey with cheek pouches and a short tail that lives mainly in the forest.

micrometer: (sometimes called a micron) one thousandth of a millimeter or one millionth of a meter. This is also equivalent to several hundred thousandths of an inch.

olfactory bulb: An area in the front of the brain that receives information from the olfactory receptor nerves in the nose (and nasal cavity).

pediatrics: The field of medicine that deals with children and especially with children’s health. A doctor who works in this field is called a pediatrician.

a pollutant: A substance that pollutes something – such as the air, water, our bodies, or foods. Some pollutants are chemicals, such as pesticides. Others may be radiation, including excess heat or light. Even weeds and other invasive species can be considered a type of biological pollution.

primacy: An order of mammals that includes humans, apes, monkeys, and related animals (such as long-tailed lemurs, daubentonia, and other lemurs).

resident: a member of a community of organisms that lives in a particular place. (Antonym: visitor)

risk: the chance or mathematical probability that something bad might happen. For example, exposure to radiation creates the risk of cancer. Or danger itself — or danger. (For example: Among the cancer risks people faced were radiation and drinking water contaminated with arsenic.)

smoke: Plumes of microscopic particles floating in the air. They can consist of anything very small. But the most well-known types of pollutants are those that result from the incomplete combustion of oil, wood, and other carbon-based materials.

species: A group of similar organisms capable of producing offspring that can survive and reproduce.

system: A network of parts that work together to achieve a specific function. For example, blood, blood vessels, and the heart are the main components of the human circulatory system. Likewise, trains, platforms, tracks, traffic signals, and overpasses are among the potential components of a national rail system. A system can even be applied to processes or ideas that are part of some method or ordered set of procedures for accomplishing a task.

fabrics: Made of cells, is any of the distinct types of materials that make up animals, plants, or fungi. Cells within a tissue work as a unit to perform a specific function in living organisms. Different organs of the human body, for example, are often made up of different types of tissue.

western: (n. West) Adjective description of the peoples of Western Europe and North America (from Mexico to the north). These countries tend to be fairly industrialized and have generally similar lifestyles; levels of economic development (income); and relationships to work, education, social issues, and government.

the uterus: Another name for the uterus, the organ in mammals in which the fetus grows and matures in preparation for birth.

Smoke from wildfires appears to pose the greatest health hazard to children

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