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Babies are more self-aware of their own intelligence than previously assumed

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By 20 months old, babies are able to imitate and process words and seem eager to learn about the world around them, but a team from Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University in France believes babies’ level of understanding goes beyond the ability to learn. Babies may be much more self-aware of their own level of…

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One million babies born in US using in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technologies: Report

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A baby (representational image), wikimedia

Washington, May 1, 2017: At least one million babies have been born in the US using in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technologies, a report has said.

The latest report was released this week by the US Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), which started to collect data on assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in 1985, Xinhua news agency reported.

For 2015, SART’s 371 clinics, which represent more than 90 per cent of the infertility clinics in the US, reported that they performed 213,004 treatment cycles, resulting in the birth of 67,818 babies. Positive trends in treatment and outcomes continued in 2015, with 34.5 per cent of procedures transferring a single embryo, compared to 27.2 per cent in 2014, the report said.

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“Fewer embryos transferred leads to lower incidence of multiple birth: 80.5 per cent of babies born from 2015 cycles were singletons, 19.1 per cent twins and fewer than one-half of one per cent were triplets (or higher order),” the report said.

With improvements in egg cryo-preservation techniques, the use of frozen donor eggs has also increased. At least 2,886 recipient cycle started using frozen donor eggs in 2014, and this number rose to 3,215 in 2015.

IVF was introduced in the US in 1981, and according to SART, about one in every 100 babies born in the country was conceived using IVF and related treatments. The world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown, was born in Britain in 1978. (IANS)

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“Jaadu ki Jhappi”: Mother’s Hug can boost immunity in her baby, say Scientists

About 76 per cent physicians feel that a mother's hug can improve the baby's immunity.

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A mother and her child. Upi.com

New Delhi, April 11, 2017: Diaper company Huggies surveyed over 2,000 moms and 500 medical professionals in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata with the aim of unfolding the power of a hug between a mother and her baby.

It was found that a mother’s hug can boost immunity, stabilize heart rate and maintain body temperature of the baby, say doctors in a survey which shows that an embrace does more than simply putting a smile on your little one’s face.

About 76 per cent physicians feel that a mother’s hug can improve the baby’s immunity.
a hug is nothing less than a miracle tonic that can stabilise the baby’s heart rate, strengthen the immune system, increase oxygen levels, and even reduce crying and stress, the company said.

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A mother’s embrace initiates a cascade of hormones that can help in regulating the body temperature as well.

About 85 per cent of doctors, in fact, encourage moms to embrace their children more often, given the health benefits these have for infants, mentioned PTI.

The survey also showed that despite the scientific backing and compelling research that supports the power of hugs, 80 per cent of mothers were not aware that hugging had health benefits for their little ones.

Even so, hugging their loved ones is an integral part of their bonding process. In fact, 90 per cent of Indian mother’s express love for their children by embracing them, and 91 per cent believe that hugging them seven to eight times a day helps ease their baby’s anxiety to a large extent.

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The survey states that 91 per cent of Indian moms also recall the first hug shared, and about 95 per cent said that they found immense relief and comfort when hugging their baby immediately after delivery.

“While most parents believe the benefits of hugs are purely emotional, this survey throws light on the numerous other benefits that stem from a simple embrace,” said Prerna Kohli, a Mumbai-based clinical psychologist.

“Hugs help in the development and growth of babies in multiple ways. Apart from the feel-good factor hugs offer, they also assist in making the child more emotionally secure and helps them grow into confident toddlers,” Kohli said.

-prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram Twitter @NikitaTayal6

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Zika Threat: WHO rejects the call to postpone or move Olympics from Rio

The letter to WHO is signed by 150 international scientists, doctors and medical ethicists from such institutions as Oxford University and Harvard and Yale universities in the United States

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FILE - A municipal worker prepares insecticide to be sprayed at Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jan. 26, 2016. The Sambadrome will be the site of the archery competition during the Rio Olympics. Image source: Reuters
  • Zika virus also is linked to serious birth defects
  • The outbreak began in Brazil a year ago in 2015
  • Abnormal small heads are seen in newborn babies affected with the virus

Good news for people who are eagerly waiting for 2016 Olympics. The World Health Organization (WHO) has rejected a call to move or postpone this summer’s Rio Olympic Games over the Zika outbreak, reported BBC.

Zika virus also is linked to serious birth defects. WHO said that delaying the Olympics or shifting it from Rio would “not significantly alter” the spread of the virus.

Renowned scientists from all over the world wrote an open letter to WHO saying that the global health body should go through the new Zika guidance and that the new findings about the virus has made it “unethical” for the Games to go ahead.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said it sees no reason to delay or move the Games because of the mosquito-borne disease.

More than 60 countries and territories are continuing with the transmission, while the  outbreak began in Brazil a year ago.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden speaks at the National Press Club in Washington on the latest research and forecasts on the Zika virus, May 26, 2016. Image source: AP
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden speaks at the National Press Club in Washington on the latest research and forecasts on the Zika virus, May 26, 2016. Image source: AP

While mild symptoms are seen in people affected with Zika, in the letter, the experts mention it causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and may also cause a rare and sometimes fatal neurological syndrome in adults.

This letter is signed by 150 international scientists, doctors and medical ethicists from such institutions as Oxford University and Harvard and Yale universities in the United States.

They cite the failure of a mosquito-eradication programme in Brazil, and the country’s “weakened” health system as reasons to postpone or move the Olympics in “the name of public health”.