• FBI seeking ID of man sprinkling unknown liquid on food at Ann Arbor Whole Foods

    Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    ANN ARBOR, MI -- The FBI is looking to speak with the man suspected of attempting to contaminate food products inside the Whole Foods Market on Eisenhower Parkway in Ann Arbor.   FBI Spokesperson Jill Washburn did not divulge the identity of the store the man was seen sprinkling an unknown liquid substance on food carts inside the store last week, but believes photos released will help in leading to the man's identity.   "We do not know what the substance was," she said. "The only thing that he was seen sprinkling the substance on was food."

  • Zika virus: Risk higher than first thought, say doctors

    Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    The mosquito-borne Zika virus may be even more dangerous than previously thought, scientists in Brazil say. They told the BBC that Zika could be behind more damaging neurological conditions, affecting the babies of up to a fifth of infected pregnant women. Rates of increase in Zika infection in some parts of Brazil have slowed, thanks to better information about preventing the disease.

  • Outside North Carolina bathrooms? Gender Monitors

    Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    North Carolina’s new law aimed at controlling transgender access to public restrooms might seem stupid and unenforceable, but actually that’s only half true.   The law can definitely be enforced. All you need are thousands of paid Gender Monitors, stationed diligently at the doors of every public restroom in the state.   North Carolina lawmakers have declared that the gender of a bathroom user must match the gender listed on his or her birth certificate. Most people don’t usually bring their birth certificates to the toilet, but perhaps reminders could be posted on highway billboards, social media and in airport terminals.

  • Poetry Behind Bars: The Lines That Save Lives — Sometimes Literally

    By Colin Dwyer, NPR | Published: Sat, Apr 30, 2016

    The way  Jimmy Santiago Baca  tells it, poetry saved his life — but he's not speaking in hyperbole. Long before the poet won an American Book Award, Baca was in prison on a drug conviction, where he was facing down a prison-yard fight with another inmate. Baca sought padding however he could get it. "So I got a bunch of tape and a bunch of books on the library cart and strapped them around my stomach," he recalls, "and when this guy pulled out his shank, I was like, wow, this ain't just a fight — this guy wants to kill me." The guy he was fighting connected on a few swipes, he says, but each time, the books — and one big one, in particular — took the blow. "Had the book not been there, I would have been dead; it would've cut all the way to the tailbone. When i went back to my cell, I looked at this one book where he had gouged it about an inch deep. And it was a thick anthology of Romantic poets." "That's when I sat down on the cot in my cell and started looking at this book that saved my life and realized that these poets had in a very real, real way saved me," he says. "And when I began to read the words, I was astounded by their beauty and eloquence, and how the arrangement of words made me happy." It's no coincidence, then, that these days — decades after that prison term — Baca serves as the final judge in a contest designed to encourage some of the country's youngest prisoners to turn to poetry themselves. He hopes poetry, that vessel of a million meanings that saved his own life, may do the same for them.

  • Can You Be a Sperm Donor If You’re Dead?

    By Cari Romm, New York Magazine | Published: Sat, Apr 30, 2016

    Even for people who, for whatever reason, can’t conceive naturally, there’s an ever-growing list of alternative ways to make a kid.  Uterus transplants  are now a reality, even if the first one failed last month due to complications. Earlier this year, an FDA panel recommended approval for “ three-parent babies ,” a not-quite-accurate term for a technique that replaces diseased mitochondrial DNA in the mother’s egg with DNA from a healthy donor to avoid passing genetic conditions on to the embryo (As the BBC reported last year, the resultant baby has only around 0.1 percent of its genetic material from the donor, who has no legal claim to the child; it’s not really three parents so much as two parents and change.) In October,  GQ  profiled Ed Houben, a prolific Dutch sperm donor who provides his services the old-fashioned way, sleeping with women who want to get pregnant without the cost or hassle of a sperm bank; at the time the article was published, he’d fathered 106 babies. But what about when the medical issue standing in the way of conception is death? In  Mosaic yesterday, Jenny Morber detailed the legally and ethically fraught practice of harvesting sperm from men who are already deceased (typically within 36 hours after death, though a handful of cases have had a longer window). The procedure, she explains, can be done in one of a few ways: removing the sperm with a needle, stimulating the corpse into ejaculation, or removing a larger section of the reproductive system, and either taking the sperm from there or preserving the entire piece of tissue for later use. In some cases, spouses or partners want the sperm to have a child with the man they’ve lost. In others, the parents of the deceased want their child’s sperm to create a grandchild — a request that becomes even more complicated if the dead man’s partner doesn’t want the kid, or if there’s no partner to speak of. Morber’s story is fascinating, sad, uncomfortable, and worth reading in full, but at the heart of the issue is who, exactly, needs to give consent — is it okay to treat a dead man as a sperm donor if he hadn’t expressly indicated that it was okay before he died? On the other hand, posthumous sperm retrieval likely isn’t a scenario that many men prep for, so who gets to decide what he would have wanted?

  • E-cigarettes should be offered to smokers, say doctors - BBC News

    Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    The UK's Royal College of Physicians says there is resounding evidence that e-cigarettes are "much safer" than smoking and aid quitting. With the right checks and measures, vaping could improve the lives of millions of people, it says in a new, 200-page report. It says fears that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking are unfounded. But, by and large, people who want to use electronic cigarettes will still need to buy them rather than get them on the NHS.

  • Babies Who Eat Rice Cereal Have Higher Arsenic Levels, Study Finds

    Published: Tue, Apr 26, 2016

    When it comes to introducing babies to solid foods, rice cereal is often first. And rice is a staple in many baby and toddler foods. But, studies have found that rice-based foods contain traces of arsenic, and sometimes levels are surprisingly high, NPR reports.

  • KFC launches inquiry after BBC probe finds faecal bacteria in ice

    Published: Mon, Apr 25, 2016

    KFC have launched an 'immediate' inquiry after ice from the fast food chain was found to have bacteria from faeces on it. The discovery was made at a KFC branch in Martineau Place, Birmingham by researchers from BBC One’s Rip Off Britain. Dr Margarita Gomez Escalada, who examined the results at Leeds Beckett University, told the programme: "We found high levels of bacteria in the ice.

  • Woman turns 'fluorescent pink' after misusing Lush bath product

    Published: Mon, Apr 25, 2016

    A woman has literally been left red-faced after dying herself bright pink when she misused a bath product from Lush cosmetics. Abi Shenton’s skin was left “fluorescent pink” for three days after she mistook a bath bomb from the toiletries company for soap. Ms Shenton tweeted Lush saying: “Are your products supposed to stain the human skin a florescent shade of pink?”

  • Yes, bacon has been linked to cancer AGAIN — here's how bad processed meats actually are for you

    By Erin Brodwin, Business Insider | Updated: Sun, Apr 24, 2016

    A  new report  from two major research groups just linked processed meat — including everyone's favorite, bacon — to cancer. If this story sounds familiar, then that's because it is. Just last October, the World Health Organization  published a paper  concluding that eating processed meats was linked with a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer , a specific type of the disease that begins in the colon or rectum. This new report looks even worse for America's favorite breakfast meat.

  • 17 Simple Swaps for Big Savings in Groceries (Video)

    By Dana Leigh Smith, Time Magazine | Published: Sun, Apr 24, 2016

    You may have never thought about it, but you could go on an extra vacation, get weekly massages, or even donate thousands to charity each year if it wasn’t for one pesky and costly expense: your groceries. The average American family of four spends between $568 and $1,293 a month on milk, bread, bananas  and other supermarket staples, according to the USDA. And if that seems like a big chunk of your paycheck, that’s because it is. In fact, groceries are the third biggest expense for U.S. households, reports The Bureau of Labor Statistics. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s totally possible to fill your shopping cart with all of the healthy foods you love for far less than you currently spend. If you automatically assume this means clipping coupons and can’t believe this applies to you, we’re about to change your mind. To prove it’s possible, we dug deep into the dollars and cents behind some of the most popular grocery items and came up with 17 easy and actionable ways to slash a whopping $255.02 from your weekly grocery bill. Most of our calculations are based on buying one product or food each week, but our methodology was still determined on a case-by-case basis of what might be normal shopping habits. Regardless, in a year’s time, that’s $3,060.24 to put toward something else in your life, rather than into the cash register.

  • Woman in leading Flint water crisis lawsuit slain in twin killing

    Published: Fri, Apr 22, 2016

    A woman at the center of a bellwether Flint water crisis lawsuit was one of two people found shot to death inside a townhouse earlier this week. Sasha Avonna Bell was one of the first of a growing number of people to file a lawsuit in connection to the Flint water crisis after she claimed that her child had been lead poisoned. Bell was found dead April 19 in the 2600 block of Ridgecrest Drive at the Ridgecrest Village Townhouses. Sacorya Renee Reed was also found shot to death in the home.

  • Rabbi declares cannabis is kosher

    Published: Fri, Apr 22, 2016

    Consuming marijuana for medical reasons is kosher for Passover, a leading rabbi has ruled, after being presented with cannabis leaves and told that they have a ‘healing’ smell. Among Ashkenazi Jews, who are of usually of Central and Eastern European descent, the drug would be considered to be a member of the kitniyot – a group of legumes and grains which are forbidden during the festival of Passover, including rice, peas and lentils. But Belarusian rabbi Chaim Kanievsky has said that marijuana may be used by Jews from all backgrounds on Passover if it is used for medical purposes, The Times of Israel reports.

  • Futurist Ray Kurzweil wants to use tiny robots in our bloodstream to fight disease and live forever

    Published: Wed, Apr 20, 2016

    Google's Ray Kurzweil wants to live forever, and he thinks he'll need nanobots to help him get there.  In an interview with Playboy , Kurzweil described a future in which microscopic robots inhabit our bloodstream, helping our immune system fight disease.  "By the 2020s we’ll start using nanobots to complete the job of the immune system," he said. "Our immune system is great, but it evolved thousands of years ago when conditions were different. It was not in the interest of the human species for individuals to live very long, so people typically died in their 20s. The life expectancy was 19."

  • Target says transgender people can use bathroom that aligns with their identity

    Published: Wed, Apr 20, 2016

    Target Corp. made it clear Tuesday that transgender people who visit its stores are welcome to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. The statement by the Minneapolis-based retailer comes amid debates in many state legislatures over restricting public restroom use to the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate. While many of those conversations have centered around restrooms in public schools and government buildings, Target appears to be one of the first big-box retailers to take a proactive stance in declaring its position on the matter when it comes to its own restrooms.

  • Bill to completely ban abortion with no exceptions advances through Alabama legislature

    Published: Wed, Apr 20, 2016

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — A House Bill which would ask Alabama voters to decide if life begins at conception could potentially outlaw abortion in the state across the board with no exceptions, including rape or danger to the mother. A co-sponsor of the bill, State Representative Jack W. Williams of Mobile, says the Personhood Amendment would allow Alabama voters to answer the question of whether or not life begins at conception through a referendum vote on the November ballot. If enacted as is, Williams says the bill will totally ban abortion at any time during pregnancy with no exceptions. He does expect amendments to be added to the bill to address situations of pregnancy resulting from rape or pregnancies that pose life-threatening complications for the mother.

  • In Utah, porn to be deemed a 'health hazard'

    Published: Tue, Apr 19, 2016

    (CNN)A state with a national reputation for wholesomeness is taking aim at a medium with quite a different reputation: the pornography industry. Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert is planning to sign two pieces of legislation on Tuesday that aim to combat what's called "a sexually toxic environment" caused by porn. This resolution declares that pornography is "a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms."

  • Study reveals how many days a week people should be working when they hit 40

    Published: Tue, Apr 19, 2016

    A three-day-week gets the best performance from workers aged over 40, a study has found. Researchers found the cognitive performance of middle-aged people improved as the working week increased up to 25 hours a week. However, when the week went over 25 hours, overall performance for the test subjects decreased as "fatigue and stress" took effect.

  • Sperm Bank’s ‘Perfect Donor’ Who Fathered 36 Kids Was Actually Mentally Ill Felon: Report

    Published: Mon, Apr 18, 2016

    A man billed as a “perfect donor” by a sperm bank turned out to be a mentally ill felon whose lies on his donor application weren’t uncovered for more than a decade, according to families who are now terrified for their children’s futures. On its website, Georgia-based firm Xytex described Donor 9623 as a completely healthy man with an IQ of 160 who was working on a Ph.D. in neuroscience engineering, the Toronto Star reports. In reality, he was college dropout Chris Aggeles, a 39-year-old man who has been diagnosed with bipolar and narcissistic personality disorders and schizophrenia and has spent time in prison for burglary.

  • Pa. becomes 24th state with legal medical marijuana

    Published: Mon, Apr 18, 2016

    HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania has become the 24th state to legalize a comprehensive medical marijuana program. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill into law Sunday afternoon surrounded by a jubilant crowd of supporters at the Capitol building in Harrisburg. "Marijuana is medicine and it's coming to Pennsylvania," said Democratic Sen. Daylin Leach, the bill's co-sponsor.