Mel B Fights back as she returns to the X Factor live final after mystery illness

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Mel B Fights back as she returns to the X Factor live final after mystery illness
This picture of displaced twins from war-torn Aleppo, Syria is so heartwarming!


How nice to still be able to have such a big smile on your face despite such hardship.

Image Credit: UNICEF/Al-Issa

Mel B Fights back as she returns to the X Factor live final after mystery illness
Egyptian strawberries linked to 55 Hepatitis A infections in USA

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An outbreak of hepatitis A caused by imported frozen strawberries from Egypt has sickened 55 people in six states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said.

Health authorities confirmed 44 total infections in Virginia, where the outbreak first appeared, and additional infections in Maryland (4), West Virginia (4), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1) and Wisconsin (1).

Hepatitis A is a viral liver infection that is highly contagious but does not result in chronic infection.
"Due to the relatively long incubation period for hepatitis A -- 15 to 50 days -- before people start experiencing symptoms, we expect to see more ill people reported in this outbreak," CDC spokeswoman Nora Spencer-Loveall said.

About half of the 44 infected Virginians aged betweeen 15 and 68, have been hospitalized, according to that state's department of health.  Their symptoms began in early May through August, but health authorities did not develop the theory of a common source of infection until this month.

The Virginia Department of Health originally connected the infection to smoothies, which contained the imported berries, served at Tropical Smoothie Café restaurants.

Almost all those who became sick purchased smoothies at cafés in a limited region including Virginia and neighboring states, reported the CDC. The one ill person in Oregon had traveled to Virginia.

According to the CDC, there are between 1,700 and 2,800 cases of the highly contagious virus each year in the United States. Hepatitis A is spread from person to person. The most common way the virus is transmitted is when someone eats something that has been contaminated with the feces of an infected person, according to the CDC.

Though the classic symptom is jaundice -- a yellowing of the skin or the eyes -- other signs include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and light-colored stools.

"On August 5, the Virginia Department of Health contacted us about a potential link between hepatitis A cases and frozen strawberries from Egypt," Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café, said in a video posted August 21 on YouTube. He added that the company immediately removed the imported strawberries from its cafes and purchased new strawberries from alternate sources.

The Virginia Department of Health also announced its investigation of the outbreak on August 21. The department said at the time that genetic tests showed the illnesses to be caused by a strain of hepatitis A virus associated with past outbreaks resulting from strawberries imported from Egypt. On Friday, Virginia health authorities confirmed the link between the Egyptian fruit and local infections.

The majority of children who become infected with hepatitis A show no signs of illness, according to the CDC, though more than 80% of adults will experience symptoms. Once recovered from their illnesses, patients are protected against reinfection for life.

Hepatitis A rates in the United States have declined by 95% since a vaccine became available in 1995, according to the CDC. Its most recent data, from 2014, showed a total of 1,239 cases for all 50 states, a 30.4% decrease from the previous year.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (PDF) reported 15 confirmed cases of hepatitis A infections and 89 probable cases in 14 countries between November 1, 2012, and April 30, 2013. All 104 of these cases were linked to travel to Egypt.

The CDC, the Food and Drug Administration, and several state departments of health are continuing to investigate the outbreak.

Source: CNN
Mel B Fights back as she returns to the X Factor live final after mystery illness
Four health benefits of smelling farts

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The smell of farts has secret health benefits – and could help stave off cancer, strokes, heart attacks and dementia, scientists have revealed.

According to a study published in the journal Medicinal Chemistry Communications, passing gas may help you live longer and in a surprise twist, smelling the gas might prevent dementia.

It is toxic in large doses but in tiny amounts it helps protect cells and fight illness, according to researchers at Exeter University.

Hydrogen sulfide is among the potent smelly gases produced by bacteria as it breaks down food in the gut.

Researchers found that when you pass wind, you are indirectly lowering your risk of cancer, heart attacks and strokes while the inhalation of the fart actually causes your brain to grow stronger and protects it from dementia.

When cells become stressed by disease, they try to draw in enzymes to generate their own minute quantities of hydrogen sulfide.

The chemical helps to preserve mitochondria, which drives energy production in blood vessel cells and regulate inflammation, and without it, the cell can switch off and die.

Researchers have come up with a new compound named AP39 to assist the body in producing just the right amount of hydrogen sulfide it requires.

They believe it will help prevent or reverse mitochondrial damage, a key strategy in treating conditions such as stroke, heart failure, diabetes, arthritis, dementia and ageing.

Professor Matt Whiteman from University of Exeter’s medical school said: “When cells become stressed by disease, they draw in enzymes to generate minute quantities of hydrogen sulfide.

“This keeps the mitochondria ticking over and allows cells to live. If this doesn’t happen, the cells die and lose the ability to regulate survival and control inflammation.

“We have exploited this natural process by making a compound, called AP39, which slowly delivers very small amounts of this gas specifically to the mitochondria.

“Our results indicate that if stressed cells are treated with AP39, mitochondria are protected and cells stay alive.”

Before it can be tested on humans, researchers have run disease models to see how effective AP39 is.

Early results show that it can help up to 80 percent more mitochondria survive highly destructive conditions such as cardiovascular disease.

Fellow researcher, Mark Wood added that “although hydrogen sulfide is well known as a pungent, foul-smelling gas in rotten eggs and flatulence, it is naturally produced in the body and could in fact be a healthcare hero with significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases.

Well, well, well, what do we have here? It’s only bloomin’ Mel B back on The X Factor. The judge missed the first half of this year’s live final after she was struck down with a serious illness.

She was absent during Saturday night’s show when her last act Andrea Faustini came third place in the competition.But wet! Wearing it wet opens a whole new world of opportunity. “What you’re doing is bringing out the pigmented nature of the shadow,” makeup artist Vincent Oquendo says. “Whenever I wet an eye shadow, it’s when I really want it to pop—but it really has to be a special kind of product to be able to blend after it sets. Because a lot of the times when it sets, you get streaking.” Nobody wants that. In order to avoid any wet shadow mishaps, follow these guidelines:


Andrea returned for the final night - aww!
Andrea returned for the final night – aww!

First, go with the obvious: any eye shadow labeled wet-to-dry. The Nars Dual-Intensity line is the standout—the singles come in 12 different shimmery shades, and there’s a corresponding brush (then there’s the newly released Dual Intensity Blush line, which was all over Fashion Week—but that’s a product for another post). Burberry also makes a few very versatile shades specifically for this in their Wet & Dry Silk Shadows. And the technique-specific eye shadow category isn’t just a ploy to get you to buy more product. “You can’t just use any eye shadow for this,” Vincent says. “Certain ones will harden up on top and become unusable because they’re not made for this.”

Baked shadows are also fair game—we’re fans of Laura Mercier’s Baked Eye Colour Wet/Dry and Lorac’s Starry-Eyed Baked Eye Shadow Trio in particular.

For more advanced players, Vincent suggests moving on to straight pigment (MAC or even OCC’s Pure Cosmetic Pigments). With the added moisture, they’ll become easier to layer with other products. For a look with more depth, try using a cream shadow as a based before swiping with a wet powder shadow. “It’s like insurance,” Vincent says. “You’re doubling your wearability.

This all depends on exactly what you want to do. “Mind the resistance,” Vincent says, particularly if you’re looking for uniform color across the lid. “I tend to recommend a blender brush, which is the brush that looks like a feather duster. If you do it with a stiff brush, you’re defeating yourself before you even start. The joy of a wet-to-dry is you have to get it right amount of product loaded up, and then it blends itself. If the brush is too stiff, it will leave the shadow streaky and then much harder to control.”

However, if tightlining or waterlining is in the cards, a much thinner brush is required accordingly.

Do not, repeat, do not put eye drops, water, or any other sort of liquid directly on your eye shadow. This’ll screw up your product for later use. “Lately, I’ve been wetting the brush with the Glossier Soothing Face Mist, but Evian Mineral Water Spray is good for sensitive eyes,” Vincent says. If the top of your powder does get a little hardened by wet application, there’s a trick to remove it: Get a clean mascara spoolie and “exfoliate” your compact, Vincent recommends. This won’t crack the compact and will make it ready to go once more.

Photographed by Tom Newton.



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