COVID-19 cases are rising again in the U.S. as the holiday season approaches, potentially due to colder weather and indoor gatherings, says CDC. Doctors and scientists are monitoring a fast-spreading variant, JN.1. Test positivity rates and hospitalizations are also increasing. Meanwhile, COVID-19 shot uptake remains low, posing an additional challenge. Experts also point to high levels of virus detected in wastewater as an early infection warning and predict a potential wave in cases around New Year.
Research has shown that frequent use of hair-straightening products could be linked to an increased risk of various cancers, including uterine, ovarian and breast cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suspects formaldehyde, often used in salon-based keratin treatments, as a potential culprit and is planning to propose a ban. The endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in some of these products, such as phthalates, phenols, and parabens may also contribute to these risks.
The BA.2.86 strain of Covid-19, often referred to as “new Covid”, isn’t exactly new, says epidemiologist Katrine Wallace. Having been around since summer, it is starting to account for more US cases, now making up 5% to 15% of current variants in the country. However, Covid tests and treatments seem effective against it, and severity of symptoms isn’t different from other strains. Vaccine-generated antibodies also recognize and neutralize this strain.
A clinical study in Japan reports that intake of OptiMSM, Balchem’s brand of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), significantly reduces joint pain. The experiment, carried out on healthy adults, involved a daily dose of two grams of OptiMSM for 12 weeks, which resulted in decreased morning and nocturnal joint pain, along with improved overall health.
Chinese people have traditionally relied on herbal concoctions to cure illnesses, and despite the prevalence of Western medicine, many still turn to traditional remedies. Amid a surge in respiratory illnesses like mycoplasma pneumoniae, China’s health officials are advocating traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) again. However, while TCM garners a significant presence in Chinese healthcare, its health claims show mixed results.
Model making, a hobby growing in popularity in our tech-oriented world, provides a unique blend of mindfulness, problem-solving, and artistic expression. Originating from jigsaw puzzles, it evolves into crafting detailed miniature models, fostering creativity and storytelling. This activity develops problem-solving skills, encourages socializing through clubs and workshops, and transcends generations, appealing to both children and adults. It serves as an analog, tactile escape from digital saturation, offering a sense of accomplishment and opportunity for self-discovery.