This invention looks like a tiny sleeping bag and it's helped save 150,000 babies.
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Gates Foundation

When Manjula gave birth to her third baby, she still didn't feel like a mom.

And I don't blame her. She'd only known tragedy up until then.


Holding her baby girl. Images via Embrace Innovations.

Manjula had given birth twice in the past two years in her village in South India, but both babies passed away right after they were born. So as you can imagine, she was too worried about her new baby girl to even think about celebrating.

At birth, her baby girl weighed just 1.9 lbs.

Yes, 1.9. That's dangerously underweight.

When a baby is severely low weight, even room temperature can be too cold. That's why most premature babies are placed in an incubator, but in many developing countries, those aren't an option. They're pricey, they need constant electricity and they require specialized training.

Would Manjula lose her third child, too?

Thankfully, the answer was no. Because the doctors at her local clinic put the baby in one of these:


I know what you're thinking: Hey, that thing kind of looks like a little sleeping bag baby burrito or something. Yeah, it does. The BEST sleeping bag baby burrito!

It's called an Embrace infant warmer and it helped to save Manjula's daughter.

Head bobs for happy beginnings! GIF via Brovadere.

To date, the Embrace infant warmer has helped save 150,000 babies, just like Manjula's daughter, in 10 different countries!

The infant warmer allows those babies to regulate their own body temperatures in the most crucial moments of early life.

And here's the world-changing part: This simple infant warmer can provide the same results as an incubator but for 1% of the cost. And it could help more than 20 million premature and underweight babies each year. Did I mention that this device is amazing?


Incubators can cost up to $20,000. The Embrace infant warmer is 1% of that. The result is the same.

Who in the heck thought of this magnificent baby-saver?

A Stanford MBA class. I spoke with co-founder (and former student in said MBA class) Jane Chen and couldn't stop being like, "Wow, so smart."

"We've been at it for eight years and have now helped approximately 150,000 babies across 10 countries," Chen said. "The goal is to help 1 million babies, but like with a lot of projects, funding is an issue. That's one of the reasons behind us launching Little Lotus."

Little Lotus is a collection of baby products for the U.S. market that use technology similar to the Embrace infant warmer to keep babies at the perfect temperature. And thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, its future is looking very bright.

Image via Little Lotus.

"Many people have come up to me and said, 'If I saw a baby in need I would do anything to help that child, especially after I became a mother,'" Chen said.

So, now you can help that child (and yours too). If you buy a baby product from Little Lotus, an Embrace infant warmer will be sent to a vulnerable baby in the developing world.

It's kind of like the Toms Shoes or Warby Parker of keeping kids alive — so worth it.

Find out more about these infant warmers and how you can use them to help out the babies in your life, as well as those far away. It's a double win!


Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less