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December 17th, 2017

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Bright Ideas. Very

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published March 24, 2016

Bright Ideas. Very

Since the (naturally insulated) uterus can be a lonely space, Institut Marques of Barcelona, Spain, recently demonstrated a tampon-like "speaker" to carry soothing, specially selected, 54-decibel ("hushed tone") rhythms that supposedly improve fetal growth. In the Babypod's first "concert," the singer Soraya performs Christmas carols. (However, documented evidence for such a device was limited to success of in-vitro fertilization when music was wafted through during the first 48 hours of sperm-egg union.) [New York Times Live, 1-1-2016]

The Job of the Researcher: Taiwanese scientists recently announced the availability of their Infant Cries Translator (iPhone and Android app), which they say can, with 77 percent accuracy (92 percent for those under 2 weeks old), tell what a baby wants by its screeches and wailings. The National Taiwan University Hospital Yunlin doctors first had to create a database of 200,000 crying sounds. [Reuters, 12-30-2016]

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