QUIRKY WORLD ... Student doctor flying high as she delivers baby mid-air

USA: It was a honeymoon that Dr Angelica Zen is unlikely to ever forget, and not just because of the romantic Bali location.

On her way home to Los Angeles last week, the UCLA physician made her first unassisted delivery of a newborn baby when a fellow passenger suddenly went into labour over the Pacific Ocean.

The China Air flight, which had departed from Taiwan, was diverted to Alaska.

Mother and newborn daughter left for a hospital, and the flight continued on to Los Angeles.

“When the baby came out healthy, I was just very relieved,” Dr Zen said.

The fourth-year resident had previously delivered two babies, both under the supervision of more experienced doctors.

“Usually I see adult patients, older patients and paediatric kids,” she said, adding this was “definitely outside of my job description”.

Dr Zen had been trying to catch a little sleep toward the end of her 14-hour connecting flight from Bali last week when she heard an announcement asking if there was a doctor or nurse on board.

The woman was seated in the plane’s first-class section, where the desks made it impossible to work, so Dr Zen had her moved to the main cabin and placed on the floor.

The flight attendants quickly pitched in, providing towels, blankets and makeshift instruments as fellow passengers recorded videos with their phones.

Bear scare

USA: A North Carolina woman said she entered her daughter’s apartment and found a bear, which had entered by opening an unlocked door, roaming through the home.

The mother called emergency personnel after spotting the bear eating some pet food, according to Asheville fire department spokeswoman Kelley Klope. The bear smelled dog food inside and was able to get in through the door by pulling down on the unlocked handle, said North Carolina Wildlife Resources biologist Mike Carraway.

Ms Klope said crews arrived and hit on the ceiling to scare the bear, which then left unharmed.

Artificial feeling

USA: A newly developed touch-sensitive artificial skin raises the prospect of prosthetic limbs that can “feel”. Scientists showed that the plastic material not only detects pressure but can transmit signals to nerve cells in a laboratory dish. They hope the proof-of-concept experiment will lead to artificial hands that allow the wearer to feel different textures and distinguish between hot and cold.

Caffeine buzz

ENGLAND: Bees are just as addicted to the buzz of caffeine as coffee-mad humans, a study has found. Scientists discovered the insects made a bee-line for sugar solution laced with the compound.

They also performed “waggle dances” directing their hive mates to the caffeine source.

Stakes are high

CZECH REPUBLIC: The stakes are running high on the Czech political scene in a bet between two bitter rivals.

Finance minister Andrej Babis and his predecessor Miroslav Kalousek usually use strong words in their comments about one another but they have taken their rivalry to a whole new level.

In a parliamentary committee debate on the 2016 budget, Mr Kalousek bet 10 million koruna (€370,000) that Mr Babis’s allegation that Mr Kalousek was investigated by police over his 2008 decision to allow betting on the internet was not true. Mr Babis, who is one of the country’s richest men, accepted that bet. Both men confirmed the wager to Czech public television.


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