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CNN 10

Cuba`s Government Names a New Leader; Scientists Follow Eye Movement to Diagnose Possible Concussions; The History of Ramen Noodles

Aired April 20, 2018 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome!

We`re starting out like that. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.

First story we`re explaining today takes us to an island nation famously said to be 90 miles away from Key West, Florida, but which has a very

different system of government than the U.S.

Cuba is a communist state. Its leadership has strict control over the media, the Internet. The communist party is the only legal party on the

island. And Cuba`s new leader wasn`t elected by the people but rather Cuba`s legislative branch, its national assembly, which almost always votes

unanimously for whatever the president proposes.

With that president, Raul Castro, planning to retire more or less, that national assembly has just named Miguel Diaz-Canel its new president. This

is the first time in almost six decades that Cuba won`t be led by a man named Castro. In fact, when former President Fidel Castro led Cuba`s

communist revolution in 1959, Diaz-Canel hadn`t been born yet.

The 57-year-old first vice president is the unopposed candidate to replace Cuba`s current leader. And Diaz-Canel is expected to keep the status quo

in Cuba, closely following the leadership of the Castro presidents, while Raul Castro will keep a powerful leadership position and have the final say

on important decisions.

People expect things will stay the same under likely President Diaz-Canel. The communist government`s supporters in the island say it will continue on

its course, even without the Castros. Opponents will likely have to wait longer to see any significant change.


AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

What is the fattiest organ in the human body?

Is it the skin, the brain, the liver, or the stomach?

The human brain is almost 60 percent fat, making it the fattiest organ we have.


AZUZ: There`s a new study out that suggests concussions and even more serious brain injuries might carry an increased risk of developing

Parkinson`s disease later in life. This disorder has symptoms like shaking uncontrollably, trouble keeping balance and slow movements. And there`s no

cure for it.

The study looked at the medical records of more than 300,000 military veterans. Now, its` important to point out that relatively few of these

people, less than 1 percent, ever developed Parkinson`s disease, even though half the veterans in the study had had some form of brain injury.

But among the nearly 1,500 who did develop Parkinson`s, almost 950 had had a traumatic brain injury, while just over 500 had not.

Researchers concluded that brain injuries carried a greater risk of developing Parkinson`s later on, at least among those who actually got the


It`s one example of how scientists are constantly exploring the brain for symptoms of injuries that could lead to earlier diagnosis and maybe even a

cure for brain diseases.


REPORTER: In order to protect athletes, tech is studying one of our smallest features.

DR. MICHAEL KELLY, SPORTS MEDICINE: When your eyes are working normally and you`re following something across your field of vision, your eyes would

smoothly track that. When somebody has a concussion, suddenly, the ability to track that becomes very erratic and your eyes are having trouble

focusing so they move in very -- like varied patterns and varied speed. We can pick up a concussion using the eye guide focus.

REPORTER: Your ability to follow an object with your eyes is called tracking. A concussion breaks down how your brain and eyes normally talk

to one another. So, smoothly tracking after a bad hit is difficult.

That`s what the eye guide focus records. Your results are taken before and after an event.

KELLY: So, you can see in the blue was the base line, you did before the bout. The green was about five minutes after he had what we call a flash

knockout, a very quick knockout and this is a much heavier fighter who won. But if you notice, again, the blue was the baseline where you see a very

smooth figure. The red is after the bout.

It`s a supplement to the physician evaluation and the normal criteria that we follow changes in speed, memory, concentration, reaction time and eye


REPORTER: Right now, there`s no single diagnostic tool to determine if someone has a concussion. So, doctors use a combination of tests, like

asking you to repeat numbers or a phrase and checking your hearing and balance, to figure out what`s happening inside your head.

DR. MARC DINKIN, NEURO-OPHTHALMOLOGIST, WEILL CORNELL MEDICINE: The after concussions and other mild traumatic brain injuries, often the MRI and the

CAT scans do not show any pathology. And so, we really are dependent on our clinical exam to understand where the problem is, and a lot of

different ways to look at the neurological function of the patient. But eye movements are something that we can look at and quantify.


AZUZ: Even thought we`re a couple of weeks past Ramen Noodle Day -- yes, there`s a Ramen Noodle Day. It`s on April 4th. We`re still reporting on

the culinary creation, the holiday in its honor is observed in the U.S., but that`s not where Ramen noodles were invented. To fill you up on

interesting info about the history of Ramen, we`re passing the mike to our friends at "Great Big Story".


REPORTER: Some people associate instant noodles with broke college students, but instant ramen wasn`t created for a bunch of hungry 20-year-

olds. The man who invented them was much more ambitious. He set out to solve a hunger crisis in Japan.

SUBTITLE: Let Them Eat Ramen.

REPORTER: After World War II, food shortages plagued Japanese cities, so the U.S. supplied wheat flour and encouraged the Japanese to make bread.

One man named Momofuku Ando didn`t understand why his people would make bread instead of noodles, something that was already part of their culture.

Ando decided to take matters into his own hands and create a new ramen made to last. He spent a year trying to figure out how to preserve the noodles.

He needed a nonperishable tasty and easy recipe but it was a challenge to maintain the robust flavors and unique texture that most people were

accustomed to.

It wasn`t until his wife was making dinner one night and he threw some noodles in a bowl of hot tempura oil that he realized flash frying the

noodles was the answer he had been looking for. This method not only dehydrated them, it left small perforations that allowed the noodles to

recook quickly.

And there you have it. instant ramen noodles became an instant success. Ando`s products gained notoriety when he introduced the packaged ramen in

the 1950s and later cup noodles in 1978. His company began selling upwards of billion units every year and Momofuku Ando became a culinary icon in


So, the next time you heat up a cup of instant noodles, remember you`re slurping down a little piece of history.


AZUZ: If you or someone you know has struggled to assemble furniture, this could be a welcome sight -- at least you bought a solid pine step-on chair

from IKEA. That`s what researchers in Singapore thought this robot to build. It failed a few times along the way, but it eventually learned to

observe, plan and finally assemble the chair, taking a little over 19 minutes to do it, if you don`t count the three years researchers spent

programming the robot.

So, was it a good IKEA? You can at least see what the big IKEA was. It`s far easier to have a seat than to build one. And if you`re the chair of a

research lab, you want to make sure a project stands on its own before you sit back and chair the results.

Oh, yes, seat puns. They always have a leg to stand on.

I`m Carl Azuz and CNN 10 hopes you have a great weekend.