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A robotic bear to stop you from snoring

A research group from Japan has come up with a robotic bear that flips over people’s heads in their sleep to open the airways and stop them from snoring. Researchers built a bear that works as a pillow with a built-in microphone to detect loud snoring, which then reaches out with its paw to turn the snorer’s head sideways.

The motion should push sufferers of sleep apnoea, the loud form of snoring that can be dangerous not only to relationships but to health, into a position where they no longer snore.  The robot is targeted specifically at snorers whose snoring inhibits their blood oxygen level, with a separate hand monitor sensing when blood oxygen levels drop.

 Rather than wires trailing through the bed, information is conducted through the sleeping body to a sensor beneath the sheets. A hand sensor monitors blood oxygen level and pulse rate and communicates to the system when snoring.

 The only problem is that not only do they have to sleep on a bear-shaped pillow with jointed robotic hands, they also have to insert their hand into another bear-shaped monitor which monitors blood oxygen.

Delayed cord clamping saves newborns from iron deficiency

Delaying cord clamping is not linked to neonatal jaundice or other adverse health effects and should be standard care after uncomplicated pregnancies, according to the study.

Iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia are major public health problems in young children around the world and are associated with poor neurodevelopment. Young children are at particular risk due to their high iron requirements during rapid growth.
While established research indicates that delayed cord clamping could prevent iron deficiency there are conflicting results regarding the risk of neonatal jaundice and other health problems.

So the authors led by Ola Andersson, consultant in neonatology at the Hospital of Halland in Sweden, and Magnus Domellof, associate professor of paediatrics at Umea University, investigated the effects of delayed cord clamping, compared to early clamping, on the iron status of infants at four months of age in a Swedish county hospital. 

Four hundred full term infants born after low-risk pregnancies were involved in the study. Some had their umbilical cords clamped after at least three minutes and others had them clamped in less than ten seconds after delivery.

 The results found that babies who experienced delayed clamping had better iron levels at four months of age and there were fewer cases of neonatal anaemia.

Zero-calorie plant-based sweetener widely available

The word stevia may not mean much to European shoppers now, but in the coming months, odds are that consumers will become much more aware of the ingredient as they skim grocery store shelves for naturally sweetened products.

The European Commission gave the green light for use of the natural, South American sweetener in consumer products on the recommendation of the European Food Safety Authority.

Stevia rebaudiana, sometimes known as sweatleaf or sugarleaf, is part of the sunflower family. The zero-calorie sweetener is 200 times sweeter than table sugar and has a long history of being used in Asia and South America.Reaction to the approval was swift, with Coca-Cola in Europe applauding the move and signaling intent to push full force ahead with the sweetener in its range of beverage products, which includes brands like Fanta, Sprite, Nestea and Minute Maid.

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