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Want to do everything possible to protect yourself from disease? Grow a beard.

Think beards are dirty? This new research proves you couldn’t be more wrong.

Want to do everything possible to protect yourself from disease? Grow a beard.

Babyfaces be warned: We are entering the long-overdue era of the beard — a Beardaissance, if you will.

So. Freakin’. Classy. Image from Incredibeard, used with permission.


Yes, that’s right: It would appear that beards are making a bit of a comeback. They’re on our televisions. They’re in our bedrooms. Heck, we’ve even devoted an entire month of the year to them! The fact that Grizzly Adams was able to witness the Rise of the Beard before passing is easily one of the greatest social justices ever to be carried out.

Just imagine the secrets this beard must hold. Photo via iStock.

But did you know that, aside from protecting you from sunburn, keeping you warm in the winter, and saving a few remnants of that absolutely divine T-bone steak you had for dinner, a beard can actually improve your health?

Yes, it's true: Growing a beard can aid in fending off several varieties of diseases, according to a recent study published on BBC News.

Seeking to crush the age-old stereotype that beards are bug-infested bacteria gardens donned by only the most unhygienic among us were the folks at Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, Dr. Chris van Tulleken, Dr. Saleyha Ashan, and Dr. Michael Mosley.

First, their team revisited a study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection last year, which looked at whether bearded hospital workers were more likely to carry (and pass on) preventable and potentially fatal infections than their smooth-shaven counterparts.

The results of the study, surprisingly, found that bearded employees were three times less likely to be carrying MRSA, a common methicillin-resistant infection.

GIF from "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy."

Why? That’s the part researchers aren't so sure about. The authors of the study guessed that the micro-abrasions and cuts caused by shaving often served as target sites for these infections to breed. Trust Me, I’m a Doctor had a different theory: Our beards actually fight infection.

So van Tulleken (of Trust me, I’m a Doctor) took over the case. He swabbed the beards of 20 random men, then shipped the samples off to be tested by Dr. Adam Roberts, a microbiologist based at University College London. From those 20 samples, Roberts was able to grow over 100 types of bacteria.

Beards actually are bacteria gardens, after all, but in a life-saving way!

Two reasons to smile: Awesome beard. No MRSA. Photo via iStock.

“When you get a competitive environment like a beard where there are many different bacteria, they fight for food resources and space, so they produce things like antibiotics," Roberts said in an episode of Trust Me, I’m a Doctor.

Just as penicillin was created by fungus, it turns out that the bacteria in beards are actually the first line of defense against major diseases.

One of these badass beard bacteria "healers" goes by the name of Staphylococcus epidermidis.

Roberts found that it attacked and eradicated a form of drug-resistant E. coli during testing. With the rate of deaths due to antibiotic-resistant infections rising by the year, Roberts is hoping that this whiskery revelation will be a major breakthrough.

In fact, after Roberts’ research was published on BBC.com in January, the public began sending him their own samples of stubble for testing. And, believe it or not, his team was able to extract “anti-adhesion molecules” that, when added to toothpaste and mouthwash, could stop acid-producing bacteria from binding to our enamel.

You know what this means, don’t you? ZZ Top are going to live forever!

Photo by Ander Gillenea/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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This article originally appeared on 11.21.16


Photographer Katie Joy Crawford had been battling anxiety for 10 years when she decided to face it straight on by turning the camera lens on herself.

In 2015, Upworthy shared Crawford's self-portraits and our readers responded with tons of empathy. One person said, "What a wonderful way to express what words cannot." Another reader added, "I think she hit the nail right on the head. It's like a constant battle with yourself. I often feel my emotions battling each other."

So we wanted to go back and talk to the photographer directly about this soul-baring project.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."