BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7479.1412 (Published 09 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1412

Healthy newborns are traditionally given sponge baths in many parts of the world. A randomised controlled trial of tub bathing for newborns conducted in a Canadian hospital now suggests that tub bathed babies experience significantly less temperature loss, and were significantly more content (as judged by a tried and tested neonatal behavioural assessment tool), compared with sponge bathed babies. Mothers who used the tub also reported greater pleasure (JOGNN 2004;33: 704-12).

Teaching an old dog to learn a new trick apparently depends on the trick. A study in Neurology (2004;63: 1818-24) compares how the brains of people with different brain lesions reorganise themselves. The authors used magnetoencephalography, a noninvasive imaging tool used to study cortical function, and their findings strongly suggest that different pathological changes of the brain result in different propensities for cortical reorganisation. They've yet to discover why, though.

A BMJ reader believes that the Atkins diet is a simple plagiarism of a pamphlet published in 1863 by a “corpulent London undertaker” called William Banting. In it Banting describes how he lost 46 pounds and 12 inches of girth by abstaining from most foods except meat. Apparently the word “Banting” is used to mean “dieting” in some circles. …

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