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Heroes

What's in your boogers could save someone's life. Seriously.

Imagine you're a scientist on a mission to find a new, lifesaving medication. Where would you look first?

Excuse me, but you haven't seen any Prozac down here, have you? No? Photo from Dave Bunnell/Wikimedia Commons.


Would you put on your khakis and mount an expedition to the deepest Amazon? Look inside the deepest caves and atop the highest peaks?

As it turns out, you might need to start by simply looking up your nose.

Scientists may have just found a new antibiotic ... and it lives in our noses.

Most previous quests for antibiotics started with looking for stuff in the soil or out in the wild. But the human body's pretty wild too. (No joke, we're actually a pretty dense bacterial jungle.)

Describing the human body as a "bacterial jungle" will surprise exactly no parents anywhere. Photo from iStock.

The human body plays host to many different types of bacteria and microbes in what scientists call our "microbiome." This isn't something to be freaked out about, though. These bacteria are mostly harmless. Some even help us digest food or produce vitamins.

Like animals in a jungle, the different microbes that live in us compete with each other.

Different strains or species of bacteria compete for food and living space, and sometimes, they'll attack each other. Imagine a lion and a tiger fighting over hunting area and you'll get the right idea. Only instead of using claws, the bacteria use unique chemicals, trying to drive out competitors and gain the best niche they can.

Unique bacteria-killing chemicals, you say? Hmm... I wonder who would be interested in that?

GIF from "The Professional."

Scientists initially dove into the jungle that is our nasal cavities because of one particular bacteria.

They wanted to figure out the habits of that bacteria, which can sometimes cause antibiotic-resistant infections.

But in the dark recesses of the nasal cavity, they found a competitor instead — a closely related cousin named Staphylococcus lugdunensis. And where they found the lugdunensis, they didn't find the bad bacteria.

Instead, they found that the lugdunensis spits out a never-seen-before chemical that's really, really good at killing other bacteria. The scientists were understandably excited and named the chemical "lugdunin." They also reported their findings in the journal Nature on July 27, 2016.

This is important because we need new antibiotics to fight off superbugs.

A doctor scrubs up before surgery in order to prevent infection. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

The overuse of antibiotics has caused some bacteria to become resistant to those antibiotics, turning them into what are sometimes called "superbugs." And these superbugs can be pretty dangerous. One, known as MRSA, infected over 80,000 people in the United States in 2011.

Guess what lugdunin can kill, though? Yup. MRSA — plus some other potentially harmful infections too. And since we haven't used the antibiotic before, it means superbugs probably can't resist it either.

Interestingly, scientists aren't completely sure how lugdunin works yet. Most antibiotics target delicate machinery inside bacteria in order to shut them down, but lugdunin seems like it might do something else we haven't quite figured out yet.

This discovery is huge, and one day, it could save lives.

Obviously, this discovery is in its very early stages and will need a lot more research before we can figure out whether it's both effective and safe for people to use. But lugdunin could one day lead to new antibiotic drugs.

If we're clever and dedicated and willing to look in some ... unusual places, superbugs could be totally beatable.

Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

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Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson in 2006.

A startling number of professional athletes face financial hardships after they retire. The big reason is that even though they make a lot of money, the average sports career is relatively short: 3.3 years in the NFL; 4.6 years in the NBA; and 5.6 years in MLB. During that time, athletes often dole out money to friends and family members who helped them along the way and can fall victim to living lavish, unsustainable lifestyles.

After the athlete retires they are likely to earn a lot less money, and if they don’t adjust their spending, they’re in for some serious trouble.

In a candid interview with NFL Hall of Famer and TV personality Shannon Sharpe, Chad Ochocinco (legally Chad Johnson) revealed that he saved 80 to 83% of the $48 million he made in the NFL by faking his lavish lifestyle because it made no sense to him.

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Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Family

American mom living in Germany lists postpartum support and women are gobsmacked

“Every video you make gets me closer to actually moving to Germany.”

U.S. mom living in Germany shares postpartum support she received.

Having a baby is not an easy feat no matter which way they come out. The pregnant person is either laboring for hours and then pushing for what feels like even more hours, or they're getting cut from hip to hip to bring about their bundle of joy. (Unless you're one of those lucky—or rather not-so-lucky—folks who get to labor for hours only to still end up in surgery.)

Giving birth is hard and healing afterward can feel dang near impossible, especially given that most states in the U.S. only offer six weeks of maternity leave and it's typically unpaid. But did you know that not everyone has that experience?

A mom who had her first child in the U.S. before meeting her current husband and relocating to Germany is shedding light on postpartum care in her new country. The stark contrast is beyond shocking to women living in the U.S. and she's got a few considering crossing the ocean for a better quality of life.

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Meghan Elinor chimes in on the Starbucks tipping debate.

Tipping culture is rapidly changing in America, so understandably a lot of people aren’t sure what to do when they buy a coffee and the debit card reader asks for a tip. It used to be that people only tipped bartenders, drivers, servers and hairdressers.

Now people are being asked to tip just about any time they encounter a point-of-sale system. There is a big difference between tipping a server who lugged around hot plates of food for an hour-long meal and someone who simply handed you an ice cream cone.

"We're living in an era of inflation, but on top of that, we've got tipping everywhere—tipflation. I take it a step further and call it a tipping invasion. Because that's really what I think it is," etiquette expert Thomas Farley (aka Mister Manners) told CBS 8.

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Pop Culture

One moment in history shot Tracy Chapman to music stardom. Watch it now.

She captivated millions with nothing but her guitar and an iconic voice.

Imagine being in the crowd and hearing "Fast Car" for the first time

While a catchy hook might make a song go viral, very few songs create such a unifying impact that they achieve timeless resonance. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is one of those songs.

So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?

For concert goers at Wembley Stadium in the late 80s, this was the scenario.

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