Review Category : Top Stories

1,000-Year-Old Eye Infection Salve May Kill MRSA Super Bug, Study Shows

University of Nottingham(NEW YORK) — A relatively new super bug may have met its match in a 1,000-year-old eye treatment, according to researchers from the University of Nottingham.

The recipe to cure eye infections comes from Bald’s Leechbook, an old English leather-bound tome that was buried deep within the British Library in London. When scientists painstakingly followed a step-by-step recipe to recreate the old-world salve, they found it killed over 90 percent of a Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — also known as the MRSA bacteria — that was grown in a petri dish of mouse cells.

The tenth-century concoction contained two species of allium (garlic, plus either onion or leek), wine from a vineyard that has existed since the ninth century and oxgall, the bile from a cow’s stomach. A very specific set of instructions included brewing the solution in a brass vessel, straining it through a cloth and then letting the mixture sit for nine days before use.

The researchers concluded it wasn’t one particular ingredient that did the trick but rather the entire recipe.

“We thought that Bald’s eye salve might show a small amount of antibiotic activity, because each of the ingredients has been shown by other researchers to have some effect on bacteria in the lab,” Freya Harrison, one of the lead Nottingham researchers, said in a statement. “But we were absolutely blown away by just how effective the combination of ingredients was.”

Each year, 90,000 Americans suffer from invasive MRSA infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has become one of the most antibiotic-resistant bugs known, costing billions of dollars in health care spending and killing about 20,000 yearly. The CDC says MRSA is a particular threat in hospital settings, though in recent years infections from the deadly virus have declined by over 50 percent.

While the results of the experiment are intriguing, the team is looking for more funding to see if the treatment has any practical application in the real world. The preliminary results done using the simple mouse cells were presented at the annual conference of the Society for General Microbiology in Birmingham earlier this week.

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QB Matt Schaub Inks 1-Year Deal with Ravens

NFL(OWINGS MILLS, Md.) — The Baltimore Ravens and free agent quarterback Matt Schaub agreed to a one-year contract on Tuesday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 33-year-old Schaub spent last season with the Oakland Raiders, serving as the backup quarterback to Derek Carr. He finished the 2014 campaign 5-of-10 for 57 passing yards and two interceptions.

Schaub was originally selected by the Falcons out of Virginia in the third round of the 2004 NFL draft. He spent three seasons in Atlanta before finding success with the Houston Texans. In seven seasons in the Lone Star State, the two-time Pro Bowler was 1,951 of 3,020 (64.6 passing percentage) for 23,221 yards with 124 touchdowns and 78 interceptions.

With the Ravens, Schaub will replace backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who left as a free agent for the Buffalo Bills.

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Iraqi PM Celebrates ‘Liberation’ of Tikrit from ISIS Control

State Dept photo(TIKRIT, Iraq) — Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi announced on his Twitter account Tuesday that Iraqi Security Forces had retaken the city of Tikrit from ISIS forces.

In his tweet, Abadi called the city’s “liberation” a “historic milestone.” He also congratulated Iraqi forces and volunteers for their work to retake Tikrit.

PM Al-Abadi announces the liberation of Tikrit and congratulates Iraqi security forces and popular volunteers on the historic milestone

— Haider Al-Abadi (@HaiderAlAbadi) March 31, 2015

Just last week, the U.S.-led coalition had agreed to conduct airstrikes and offer additional support near the city.

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Wall Street Drops Despite Positive Reports on Housing, Consumer Confidence

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — After Wall Street posted sizable gains on Monday, the markets came back to earth on Tuesday despite some positive news on housing and consumer outlook.

The Dow Jones Industrial dropped 200.19 to end the session at 17,776.12.

The Nasdaq dipped to 4,900.89, down 46.55 on the day, while the S&P 500 posted 18.35 in losses to a close of 2,067.89.

The newest data from the Standard and Poor’s/Case Shiller Index showed home prices rose 4.6 percent in January as compared to the year before. Also on Tuesday, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence survey showed increased confidence from January to February.

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Obama Vetoes Resolution on Union Elections

Pete Souza / Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — President Obama on Tuesday vetoed a Congressional resolution aimed at overturning union voting rules.

The new rules would make it easier for workers to unionize by streamlining the voting process.

“Part of what we want to do is to make sure that we give workers the capacity to have their voices heard,” the president said before signing the veto.

He added, “One of the freedoms of folks here in the United States is that if they choose to join a union, they should be able to do so.”

Tuesday’s veto marks Obama’s second one of the year and the fourth of his presidency.

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Which Live Streaming App Is Right for You?

Twitter, Inc.(NEW YORK) — With the advent of live video streaming apps, it’s now easier than ever to life-cast to your social media followers or even build a legion of fans online.

While having the technology at your fingertips is enticing, not everyone wants to be a reality star.

Here’s a look at three of the biggest live video apps and what they have to offer — including which one will pay you for just being yourself:

Periscope

It’s easy to gain a global audience on Periscope, the app that Twitter released last week.

Broadcasts from around the world are featured on the home screen of the app showing off everything from a Friday night party to a dog doing tricks to a walk down the street in Vienna.

Users have the option of choosing to push a link to their Twitter followers, allowing them to tune into the live stream.

Periscope differentiates itself by offering broadcasters the chance to let viewers replay their stream when it is complete.

Audience love is also a huge aspect of the Periscope app, which allows viewers to tap the screen and send hearts to the broadcaster, letting them know they appreciate what they’re doing.

It’s already gained a large celebrity following, including actor Aaron Paul, astronaut Chris Hadfield and magician David Blaine, who are now able to go live to their fans whenever they want.

Meerkat

The darling of South by Southwest 2015 is only around a month old but has been overshadowed in the past week with the launch of Twitter’s Periscope.

What differentiates Meerkat from the other services is its ephemeral nature — think of it as Snapchat but for live video.

When you’re done broadcasting, no one can ever watch your video again, making it ideal for people who don’t want a large video footprint to live on online.

(The broadcaster does get the option to save the video to their private camera roll.)

YouNow

The lively community includes broadcasters who do everything from sleeping on camera to singing, to hosting their own show while they’re at their day job.

Tayser Abuhamdeh, from Brooklyn, New York, who goes by the name Mr. Cashier, has gained a loyal following and a paycheck from his show on YouNow. He chats with his fans on the live broadcast in between serving customers.

YouNow CEO Adi Sideman told ABC News that top broadcasters can earn $500 and $15,000 per month, allowing some of them to even make it their full-time job.

The pay is determined by viewers, the level of audience interaction and digital “gifts” that are sent from fans to performers.

Aside from the partner program that allows designated broadcasters to earn money from their shows, YouNow also offers user engagement tools that let broadcasters poll their audience about what they want to see next.

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Germanwings Co-Pilot Told Airline He Had ‘Previous Episode of Severe Depression’

Flight Aware / ABC News(COLOGNE, Germany) — Lufthansa issued a statement Tuesday afternoon confirming that the co-pilot of the crashed Germanwings plane had informed them of his medical history during his training.

The airline said they handed those files over to investigators.

In the statement, Lufthansa confirmed that Andreas Lubitz had taken a break “for several months” during his training and when he returned in 2009, he submitted forms “about a ‘previous episode of severe depression.'”

In spite of that admission, he went on to receive “the medical certificate confirming his fitness to fly” and he went on to complete his training and earn a spot as a co-pilot for Germanwings, a subsidiary of Lufthansa.

Lubitz’s medical history is one of the main areas of inquiry for investigators after he allegedly locked his captain out of the cockpit and proceeded to crash a plane into the French Alps.

All 150 on board, including Lubitz, died.

Lufthansa also said that the medical and training documents have been submitted to the Dusseldorf Public Prosecutor.

The extent of Lubitz’s psychological issues has not been fully revealed, though Dusseldorf prosecutor Christoph Kumpa said on Monday that Lubitz had been treated by a psychotherapist prior to the completion of his flight training for suicidal tendencies.

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What Tesla Has the Technology to Produce — Other than Cars

Bryan Mitchell/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The announcement that Tesla Motors will unveil a new game-changing product category next month that isn’t a car has sent imaginations running wild.

CEO Elon Musk teased the April 30 announcement in a tweet on Monday, only offering the clue that he would not be showing off a new car.

He added that both the press and Tesla owners would be invited to the unveiling — sparking the possibility that the new product could perhaps work with existing Tesla vehicles.

Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, told ABC News that Tesla’s multi-billion dollar Gigafactory in Nevada to build lithium ion batteries could be a key clue to the company’s plans.

“We need the ability to store energy when it’s bountiful and use it when it isn’t bountiful,” Brauer said. “If somebody can come up with a system to time shift energy storage, that would have a lot of potential and go far beyond the automotive industry.”

He said he believes Tesla’s new product will likely be a battery for the home or something that could be retrofitted to existing Tesla vehicles, allowing them to get an even greater range.

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told ABC News that a battery to power the home is a possibility — especially since Tesla has previously said it has been working on a stationary battery.

Like Tesla’s premium cars, Moorhead said he believes the hypothetical home charging system wouldn’t be affordable to the masses, at least until 2020 when the company revs up production at its gigafactory.

“I think with the scarcity of battery technology, I don’t think it will be very affordable,” he said. “Once they get their factory up and running I am expecting to see more mainstream pricing on anything they produce.”

It’s also worth noting Musk is chairman of SolarCity, a company that provides solar power to homes, schools and businesses.

A Tesla motorcycle is another idea that has been discussed.

Brauer said “anything is possible” but he thinks Musk “would probably not want to spend a lot of time and resources on a niche product.”

“He’s going to start chasing more higher volume solutions,” Brauer said.

After Musk’s tweet on Monday, the news subsequently caused Tesla’s stock to jump 3 percent in the afternoon. The CEO fired back at critics earlier this month who said he used Twitter to move Tesla’s stock price, writing that the short term spike “obviously does no good for Tesla or me.”

He added: “Neither I nor the company are selling shares. Even if we were, I wouldn’t do this. It would be wrong. Our long term results are what matter.”

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Pac-Man Invades Google Maps

Google Maps(NEW YORK) — Pac-Man has invaded Google Maps just in time for April Fool’s Day.

The classic arcade character will traverse the streets in some of the world’s most iconic places, moving away from the dastardly ghosts with every key stroke.

Players can access the game on desktop and mobile devices by pulling up an area of Google Maps with a lot of roads. From there, they can click the Pac-Man icon and start playing.

After five lives have been used, it’s game over and players can choose to share their score and play again.

It’s not the first time Google has built an “Easter egg” into Google Maps. Last year, the search engine giant gave everyone the chance to catch 151 hidden Pokemon for the chance to become Google’s “Pokemon Master.”

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Inside the Facebook Warehouse Where Everyone Works in One Room

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(MENLO PARK, Calif.) — Apple has its space ship-like campus. Google has its dream of constructing movable buildings. And Facebook — well it has a warehouse.

The social network’s team moved into its new Menlo Park, California, headquarters this week.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared an aerial photo of his team’s new digs and explained why he chose a no-frills office space.

“The building itself is pretty simple and isn’t fancy. That’s on purpose,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page.

“We want our space to feel like a work in progress,” he said. “When you enter our buildings, we want you to feel how much left there is to be done in our mission to connect the world.”

Facebook’s employees will work in a large room that Zuckerberg called “the largest open floor plan in the world,” fitting thousands of workers into the space.

The open room makes it easy for groups to collaborate — and provides some quiet nooks for meetings. While one meeting room was turned into a ball pit on opening day, it appeared to just be a short-lived prank, according to Instagram accounts of several Facebook employees.

A photo posted by Sara Stalla (@sarastalla) on Mar 30, 2015 at 1:03pm PDT

Employees who want to take a meeting outdoors can visit the roof, which includes a nine acre park, trails and various outdoor working spaces.

“Our goal was to create the perfect engineering space for our teams to work together,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We wanted our space to create the same sense of community and connection among our teams that we try to enable with our services across the world.”

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