Allison Joyce / AP

A new study found targeted probiotics — strains of beneficial bacteria — can reduce sepsis and other potentially life-threatening conditions in newborns, per The Atlantic.

  • The study: In the largest trial of its kind, 4,557 Indian newborns were treated for just one week with a specially-developed "synbiotic," a probiotic strain boosted with a sugar, designed to take root in the infant gut.
  • By the numbers: The researchers calculated that their probiotic strain should reduce the risk of sepsis, which kills hundreds of thousands of newborns each year, by 25-50%. The study also saw significant and "completely unexpected" reductions in bacterial infections and pneumonia in treated newborns.
  • Why it matters: The treatment is a cheap, easily replicated way to ensure the health of newborns and reduce the usage of antibiotics in the developing world. Indeed, the trial was so successful that it was stopped early because it was considered unethical to prevent children from receiving the treatment.

Go deeper

Pundits react to a chaotic debate: “What a dark event we just witnessed”

The first presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden in Cleveland on Tuesday night was a shouting match, punctuated by interruptions and hallmarked by name-calling.

Why it matters: If Trump aimed to make the debate as chaotic as possible with a torrent of disruptions, he succeeded. Pundits struggled to make sense of what they saw, and it's tough to imagine that the American people were able to either.

Trump to far-right Proud Boys: "Stand back and stand by"

Asked to condemn white supremacist violence at the first presidential debate on Tuesday, President Trump said the far-right Proud Boys group should "stand back and stand by," before immediately arguing that violence in the U.S. "is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem."

Why it matters: Trump has repeatedly been accused of failing to condemn white nationalism and right-wing violence, despite the FBI's assessment that it's the most significant domestic terrorism threat that the country faces. The president has frequently associated antifa and the left-wing violence that has afflicted some U.S. cities with Biden, despite his condemnation of violent protests.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The first Trump v. Biden presidential debate was a hot mess

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

This debate was like the country: Everybody’s talking. Nobody’s listening. Nothing is learned. It’s a mess.

  • We were told President Trump would be savage. Turned out, that was a gross understatement. Even the moderator, Fox News' Chris Wallace, got bulldozed.

Why it matters: Honestly, who the hell knows?