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Your kitchen sponge is filthier than your toilet, study says

The toilet bowl holds quite a bit of muck, but according to a recent report, there’s another item in your home that’s even filthier: your kitchen sponge.

Researchers in Germany conducted a study to determine the different types of bacteria found on a sponge. To do so, they sequenced the DNA of 28 samples of bacteria collected from 14 sponges. 

 >> Dirtier than the toilet? These 5 items are among the filthiest in your home

They found 118 genera of bacteria. That’s more than what’s found on toilets. 

"Despite common misconception, it was demonstrated that kitchen environments host more microbes than toilets. This was mainly due to the contribution of kitchen sponges, which were proven to represent the biggest reservoirs of active bacteria in the whole house," the study said.

>> On AJC.com: Toothbrushes can be more germ-ridden than a toilet seat

However, the scientists noted that most of the genera of bacteria discovered was not harmful. The pathogens that were found were most concerning, because those can cause infections among humans. 

>> On AJC.com: How well are you cleaning the 10 filthiest places in your kitchen?

"Kitchen sponges are likely to collect, incubate and spread bacteria from and back onto kitchen surfaces, from where they might eventually find their way into the human body," the study said. “Direct contact of a sponge with food and/or the human hands might transfer bacteria in and onto the human body, where they might cause infections, depending on their pathogenic potential.”

Although many boil or microwave sponges to rid of toxins, analysts found that the latter method only kills 60 percent of bacteria. Plus, the bacteria could increase after cleaning, because the microbes re-colonize. 

>> Read more trending news

To minimize the spread of germs, researchers suggests that people replace their sponges at least once a week.

Suicide rate for teen girls hits 40-year record high -- is social media to blame?

According to new data released Thursday by Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates among 15- to 19-year-old girls doubled between 2007 and 2015, reaching a 40-year high.

» RELATED: Michelle Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter in boyfriend's suicide, accused of convincing him to commit suicide via text messages 

That means for every 100,000 American girls in 2015, 5 died by suicide.

Additionally, the suicide rate among teen boys in the same age group and year range rose by more than 30 percent.

>> Read more trending news

The analysis mirrors a rising national trend in suicide rates across all age groups, CDC suicide expert Thomas Simon told CNN.

» RELATED: Read the full CDC report

So, what’s going on?

Experts such as Simon and Carl Tishler, adjunct associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at the Ohio State University, said there are a lot of possible factors.

» RELATED: How to keep your kids safe on social media 

Some factors include substance abuse, relationship conflicts, lack of emotional support, the stigma associated with mental health, exposure to violence and economic instability.

Tishler specifically cited the rise of the opioid epidemic as a possible factor.

“Some of the opiate or heroin overdoses in adolescents may be interpreted by emergency departments as suicides. There may be more internet suicides,” Tishler told CNN.

» RELATED: The more social media you use, the lonelier you feel, study says

What about social media?

While some public health studies have shown negative effects of social media on young people’s mental health and well-being, Simon said social media isn’t always negative.

“Social media can help increase connections between people, and it's an opportunity to correct myths about suicide and to allow people to access prevention resources and materials,” he told CNN.

» RELATED: This social media platform is the worst for cyberbullying 

Still, he acknowledges that cyberbullying can greatly impact vulnerable youth.

Additionally, cyberbullying in social media may negatively influence teenage girls more than boys, according to Emory University School of Medicine professor Dorian Lamis.

» RELATED: Should kids be watching new Netflix series on teen suicide? 

“Some research has suggested that the timing of puberty in girls is a contributing factor for the increased suicide rate,” Lamis told CNN.

Lamis said the hormonal, mental and physical changes associated with puberty may leave teen girls “vulnerable to depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders earlier on in life.”

“The message for parents, teachers, coaches and religious leaders is to not be afraid to talk to a young person when they are concerned,” Simon said.

Read more from CNN.

If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, or if you are concerned for someone else, here are some helpful resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24 hours)

Call 1-800-273-8255

Online chat

Suicide prevention resources for parents, guardians and families

Suicide prevention resources for teens

Suicide prevention resources for survivors of suicide loss

More resources and programs at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

Feeling depressed? Hot yoga could help

If you want to help put an end to your depression, a new report from the American Psychological Association suggests giving hot yoga a try. 

>> Read more trending news

“Yoga has become increasingly popular in the West, and many new yoga practitioners cite stress-reduction and other mental health concerns as their primary reason for practicing,” Lindsey Hopkins, one of the analysts, said in a statement. “But the empirical research on yoga lags behind its popularity as a first-line approach to mental health.” 

That’s why the scientists from the APA conducted a study to determine how the practice could combat symptoms of depression including anxiety, stress, rumination and worry.

To do so, they led several different studies. In the first one, they rounded up 23 male veterans to participate in twice-weekly yoga classes for eight weeks. The subjects gave the exercise an average enjoyment ranking of 9.4 out of 10, and those with elevated depression scores had a significant decrease in depression symptoms.

» RELATED: Need to relieve stress? Try talking to yourself

For the second one, scientists gathered 52 women ages 25 to 45 and asked more than half of them to attend twice-weekly hot yoga classes for eight weeks. The others were placed on a wait list. At the end of the experiment, those who tried yoga saw a reduction in their depression symptoms compared to those in the control group. 

And in another, they examined 74 mildly depressed university students, giving them a 15-minute instructional video to follow at home for two months. They found that their symptoms had also subsided significantly.

Researchers noted that the practice isn’t a cure-all but should be a complimentary practice to traditional forms of therapy. 

“However,” Hopkins said, “based on empirical evidence, there seems to be a lot of potential.”

Mom warns of sunless heatstroke after toddler almost doesn't wake up from nap

A Canadian mother is warning other parents about the dangers of indoor heatstroke after her daughter endured a frightening ordeal.

Jennifer Abma of Edmonton, Alberta, told "Today" that she was keeping her daughters inside when a heatwave hit their town.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Dad shares photo of daughter’s foot to warn others about scary mistake

Her 3-year-old daughter, Anastasia, went upstairs to take a nap a few weeks ago after playing with her 1-year-old sister.

An hour and a half later, Jennifer went to check on the her and discovered the room was roasting hot. She panicked when she couldn’t wake Anastasia.

Jennifer shared a photo of the scary moment in an Instagram post that has since been deleted. In the photo, Anastasia’s skin is red and swollen.

“THIS is clear proof a child doesn’t need to be in the sun to get heatstroke,” Jennifer wrote.

>> Protect your kids from the heat

First responders quickly arrived and discovered Anastasia’s blood sugar was dangerously low and her body temperature was at 104 degrees Fahrenheit, according to "Today."

“They administered sucrose and in minutes she started crying, clearly scared,” Jennifer wrote.

The temperature inside the room was around 122 degrees.

>> Read more trending news

“Hopefully other parents can take something from this & make sure you are checking the rooms in your house because they can be as dangerous as a hot car,” Jennifer wrote.

She said she’s grateful for the first responders’ swift action to revive her daughter.

“We definitely had god on our side yesterday,” Jennifer wrote.

Kathy Griffin shaves head in support of sister's cancer fight

Kathy Griffin is back in the news with more pictures of a head — this time her own. The comedian shaved her head bald in support of her sister, Joyce, who is battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy.

>> Kathy Griffin says she's no longer under investigation for photo of severed Trump head

For the past few months, Griffin has undergone criticism for photographs that depicted her holding a faux bloody, severed head that was supposed to be that of President Donald Trump. Those photos cost Griffin her New Year’s Eve gig with CNN.

>> Read more trending news

This new batch of photos should, at the least, grant her some praise. She showed off her stubby scalp in a couple of photos, one standing outdoors in front of some bushes, and another sitting next to her surprised mother Maggie Griffin.

>> See the photos here

Afterward, Griffin’s mom took to Twitter to commend her daughter for showing solidarity with her sister.

>> See the post here

This is not the first time the Griffin family has grappled with this disease. Griffin’s older brother, Gary, died in 2014 at 63 after more than two years battling stage IV esophageal cancer.

Transgender man gives birth to baby boy

A transgender Oregon man has given birth to a healthy baby boy.

According to CNN, Portland man Trystan Reese, 34, and his partner, 31-year-old Biff Chaplow, welcomed their first biological child, Leo Murray Chaplow, on July 14. The newborn joins the couple's two adopted children – Chaplow's niece and nephew.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Transgender man 8 months pregnant with son

"WE ARE HEADING HOME!!!" the couple wrote on Facebook. "Leo has received a clean bill of health (and so has Trystan) so we are happily heading back home to settle into our new life with our newest little addition."

>> See the post here

Reese, who was born biologically female, stopped taking male hormones while trying to conceive, KATU reported last month.

"We've been under medical supervision the entire time to make it as healthy and safe as possible," Reese told CNN in June.

Chaplow told KATU that Leo's birth was "a pure moment of bliss, like the happiest moment of my life," adding, "To see the very beginning of Leo, of his life, was just amazing.”

Read more here or here.

Talking to yourself can reduce your stress levels, study says

Carving out time for a therapy session is a great way to reduce some stress. However, a new study suggests there is someone else you can talk to release tension: yourself. 

Psychology researchers from Michigan State University and University of Michigan conducted a study to determine if self-talk could reduce anxiety. To do so, scientists rounded up a group of participants for two experiments. 

>> Read more trending news

For the first one, the subjects were shown disturbing images, such as a man holding a gun to their heads. Then, they were asked to respond to the pictures in first-person and third-person as their brain activity was being monitored.

For the second one, they were asked to recall a traumatic experience in first-person and then in third-person while their brain activity was being reviewed.

>> Two-thirds of Americans stressed about the nation's future, study says

In both cases, the researchers found that participants displayed less brain activity in the region most associated with storing emotional experiences when speaking in the third-person than when speaking in the first-person

"Essentially, we think referring to yourself in the third person leads people to think about themselves more similar to how they think about others, and you can see evidence for this in the brain," Jason Moser, one of the MSU researchers, said in a statement. "That helps people gain a tiny bit of psychological distance from their experiences, which can often be useful for regulating emotions."

'Safe injection' sites planned for drug users stir controversy, prompt petition

Last week, the supporters behind Initiative 27 to ban "safe injection" sites for drug users in King County, Washington, turned in more than enough signatures to have the measure put on the ballot. They’re pushing for the King County Council to put it on the November ballot so voters can weigh in before two approved safe injection sites open.

>> Watch the news report here

The King County Board of Health unanimously approved the recommendations of an Opioid Task Force to open two sites in King County where users can take any drugs. The locations haven’t been determined, but the plan is to open them by the end of the year.

“This petition is not about shaming the user,” said Joshua Freed of IMPACtion, the political action group behind the initiative. “What's neat about this initiative process is it's non-partisan. It's an idea you can get behind.”

Freed says more than 1,000 volunteers helped collect signatures since May. They turned in 69,245 signatures to the King County Clerk on Monday, a week ahead of the July 31st deadline. To get on the ballot, 47,000 verified signatures are needed.

The safe injection sites would be similar to the one in Vancouver, B.C. KIRO-TV traveled north to see how they work. Read the full story here.

>> On KIRO7.com: As Seattle considers 'safe injection' sites, how does it work in BC?

People are allowed to use any drugs, no questions asked. Health professionals and outreach workers ensure there are no overdoses and provide services and counseling. King County Health Officials touted the idea in a Facebook live video in June.

“There have been zero, zero overdose deaths in any of these facilities worldwide,” said Brad Finegood of the Heroin Addiction Task Force.

Freed emphasizes that they agree with most of the recommendations from the King County Opioid Task Force, just not injection sites.

“We see that as a facility that is enabling and encouraging people to use opioids,” said Freed. “Let's spend that money on treatment. Let's get people into beds that need the help and interim treatment.”

>> Read more trending news

Once the signatures are validated, the King County Council has 90 days to take action. They could as a council pass the initiative as written. They could re-write it and have their re-written initiative and this initiative on the ballot. Or they could put it on the ballot as is. 

Initiative 27 would go on the November or February ballot, and its supporters are pushing for November.

Rep. Blake Farenthold calls out 'female senators' on health care, suggests he would duel them

In an interview with a Corpus Christi radio station, Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Republican, called out “female senators from the Northeast” for the latest snag in the GOP's effort to repeal Obamacare, adding that he “might” challenge them to a duel if they were men.

Farenthold spoke to KEYS host Bob Jones on Friday morning, according to the Houston Chronicle.

While he didn’t name names, the only Republican female senator from the Northeast to oppose the bill is Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito is a Republican from West Virginia, not normally considered part of the Northeast. The third female GOP senator to oppose the bill is Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, also not considered part of the Northeast.  

>> Read more trending news

“If it was a guy from south Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style,” Farenthold told Jones, referring to the infamous 1804 duel between Vice President Aaron Burr and Treasury Secretary Andrew Hamilton. Hamilton was mortally wounded in the Weehawken, New Jersey, duel and died the next day.

According to The Associated Press, Collins later responded: "As far as I know, dueling is illegal in every state. He'll be disappointed, I guess."

Farenthold clarified his comments in a statement Monday, the AP reported.

"This was clearly tongue-in-cheek," he said. "That being said, I'm extremely frustrated with Senate Republicans who are breaking their promise to the American people to repeal and replace Obamacare."

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Coffee recalled for Viagra-like ingredient

A coffee brand has issued a recall after the FDA found it contained an ingredient similar to the active one in Viagra.

Bestherbs Coffee LLC voluntarily recalled all the lots of New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee after an FDA lab found “the presence of desmethyl carbodenafil. Desmethyl carbodenafil is structurally similar to sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, an FDA-approved prescription drug for erectile dysfunction.”

The analysis also said instant coffee brand contains undeclared milk.

>> Read the recall notice here

Additionally, the recall notice said: “These undeclared ingredient [sic] may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs, such as nitroglycerin, and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Men with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease often take nitrates. In addition, people who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of serious or life threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.”

Now, it should not be a total shock, as “New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee is used as a male enhancement.”

Still, the recall notice has been issued for the 13-gram, red packs with UPC 557205060083 on the box and containing 25 packets.

>> Read more trending news

The packages were distributed from July 2014 through June 2016. New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee is consumed as an instant coffee. No illnesses have been reported so far.

The recall notice advises: “Bestherbs Coffee LLC is notifying its customers by phone. Consumers that have New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee which is being recalled should stop using/discard/ and contact their doctor. Please return the product to Bestherbs Coffee LLC, 4250 Claremont Dr, Grand Priarie, TX 75052. Customers returning the product will be reimbursed by check for the returned goods and postage. Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Bestherbs Natural Coffee at 817-903-2288 or Albertyee.abc@hotmail.com, Monday thru Friday 9am to 5pm CST. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product.”

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