The difference not smoking makes! –
A new study from the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus found that low-income mothers enrolled in the Baby & Me Tobacco Free program in Colorado saw preterm births drop between 24 and 28 percent. For these mothers, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions also fell, between 25 and 55 percent.
“Those are some pretty striking impacts of the program,” said Tessa Crume, an epidemiologist and the lead researcher on the study. The study found the Baby & Me Tobacco Free program saved the state between $1.4 million and $4.1 million each year when looking at the average Medicaid reimbursement cost for low-weight births and preterm births, which in 2017 was $121,597 and $50,423, respectively.
Researchers say Colorado could save $6 million and $16 million if all women susceptible to such birth complications were part of the program.
Source: Women Who Stop Smoking While Pregnant Not Only Benefit Their Babies, They Save Colorado Millions. This State Program Helps Them Quit | Colorado Public Radio
Ferreira’s project used a novel, but effective methodology for removing ocean plastics. He used magnets to attract microplastics from water. The project found that a magnetic liquid called ferrofluid attracted the tiny plastic particles and removed them from the water. After nearly a thousand tests, his device successfully removed about 88 percent of the microplastics from water samples, according to The Irish Times.
“I look forward to applying my findings and contributing towards a solution in tackling microplastics in our oceans worldwide,” he said.
The Google Science Fair invited 24 young scientists from around the world to its Mountain View, California campus to show off their projects. The invitees were chosen from a short list of 100 global entries. Ferreira’s grand prize is $50,000 in educational funding.
His idea came to him after finding a rock covered in oil near his remote coastal town in Ireland’s southwest. He noticed tiny bits of plastic stuck to the oil. The tiny size of microplastics has befuddled scientists looking for ways to remove them from the environment. But Ferreira thought of something.
“It got me thinking,” Ferreira said, as Business Insider reported. “In chemistry, like attracts like.”
Source: Irish Teenager Wins Google Science Award for Removing Microplastics From Oceans – EcoWatch
More fascinating new research on how our environment affects babies –
Extremely hot weather appears to prompt early labor, leading to as many as 25,000 early births every year in the U.S., according to a study published Monday.
The research, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, analyzed data on 56 million births from 1969 to 1988, matching the birth dates to weather events in the counties where babies were born.
“We saw a spike in births on hot days,” said study author Alan Barreca, an associate professor in environmental economics at the University of California, Los Angeles. For example, Barreca noticed a 5 percent increase in birth rates on days that were over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
But when researchers looked at birth rates over the days and weeks that followed extreme heat events, they found a decline in births. That decline, the study suggests, is the result of births taking place earlier than expected.
Source: Very hot weather prompts early births, study says
There’s nothing more satisfying than a loaf of bread baked at home. If you haven’t given it a go, now’s your chance! –
As more home bakers rediscover how to capture wild yeast and turn it into nourishing loaves of bread, they are part of a growing kitchen movement standing up to the industrial food system.
Step 1: Capture Wild Yeast and Make Your Own Sourdough Starter
Sourdough bread begins with the starter, made by capturing wild yeast from the environment and using it to ferment flour and water. Because yeast cultures vary depending on where you are, every sourdough starter tastes a little different. Here’s how to make your own sourdough starter using an ancient grain.
Source: This Home-Baked Bread Can Help You Rise Above Industrial Food – EcoWatch
Your bubs might be seeing and feeling more than you realise! –
By the second trimester, long before a baby’s eyes can see images, they can detect light.
But the light-sensitive cells in the developing retina — the thin sheet of brain-like tissue at the back of the eye — were thought to be simple on-off switches, presumably there to set up the 24-hour, day-night rhythms parents hope their baby will follow.University of California, Berkeley, scientists have now found evidence that these simple cells actually talk to one another as part of an interconnected network that gives the retina more light sensitivity than once thought, and that may enhance the influence of light on behavior and brain development in unsuspected ways.
In the developing eye, perhaps 3% of ganglion cells — the cells in the retina that send messages through the optic nerve into the brain — are sensitive to light and, to date, researchers have found about six different subtypes that communicate with various places in the brain. Some talk to the suprachiasmatic nucleus to tune our internal clock to the day-night cycle. Others send signals to the area that makes our pupils constrict in bright light.
But others connect with surprising areas: the perihabenula, which regulates mood, and the amygdala, which deals with emotions.
Source: UC Scientists Say Babies In The Womb May See More Than We Thought
They’re not designed just to be annoying after all! –
While a case of the hiccups can be unwelcome, annoying and sometimes seemingly impossible to stop, new research suggests the involuntary spasms may play a critical part in human development by helping babies regulate their breathing.
Researchers at University College London found hiccupping triggered a large wave of brain signals in 13 newborns they monitored.
Lorenzo Fabrizi, who co-authored the study, stated that hiccuping helps babies “to learn how to monitor the breathing muscles” which eventually leads to an ability to control breathing voluntarily.
“When we are born, the circuits which process body sensations are not fully developed, so the establishment of such networks is a crucial developmental milestone for newborns,” Fabrizi said.
Source: Scientists might know why babies hiccup so much – New York Daily News