Volvo makes life easier for parents
Volvo unveiled a new concept that acknowledges parents’ desires to interact with their baby while in the car. The concept involves removing the front passenger seat and replacing it with a raised platform outfitted with a child-safety seat that locks in place in a rear-facing position, allowing the passenger in the back to be face-to-face with the baby. Among the first adapters of a three-point safety belt and rear-facing child seat, the Swedish carmaker is no stranger to safety innovations: “We have always placed a great deal of importance on child safety,” said Tisha Johnson, Chief Designer Interiors at Volvo Cars Concept and Monitoring Centre. “We started by asking ourselves if we could make life easier for parents and safer for their children when it comes to the child seat experience.” It's still incredibly dangerous to put children in a rear-facing car seat in the front seat when front air bags can't be turned off, but this concept could be safe in part because the front air bag would be switched off. The company plans to test the cars in 2017.

Swedes don't wear shoes
It’s not only a very important social rule, but it’s also now known that serious health risks are avoided when Swedes take off their shoes when entering a house. This custom to remove shoes indoors is quite well known in Scandinavia, perhaps it began as a way to avoid tracking snow and dirt inside, though it may have simply begun as a courteous sign of respect for the home. Whatever the reason, a recent study out of the University of Houston found there are many kinds of bacteria that could be sneaking into your home via the soles of your shoes, not the least of which is C. diff (Clostridium difficile). C. diff, which is resistant to a number of antibiotics and can cause severe diarrhea that may progress to colon inflammation and more serious health issues, was found on 39 percent of shoe soles sampled. “Shoes are contaminated from diverse sources, and we are regularly contaminating our doorsteps by shoes,” says study author M. Jahangir Alam, PhD.

Swedish skin researchers make a break-through
A new study at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm has disproved previous indicators that psoriasis is a chronic skin disease. The research followed 750 patients for 15 years with results showing that one in every 10 cases was cured of the disease. “Psoriasis is a complex disease, but in the best case one can predict if it will be a severe or mild. Other knowledge we hope for is to be able to predict, for example, who gets pain in the joints of psoriasis so that early can treat them,” said Professor Mona Ståhle.