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July 11, 2014
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The next time someone at your office lets out a "silent but deadly" emission, maybe you should thank them. A new study at the University of Exeter in England suggests that exposure to hydrogen sulfide — a.k.a. what your body produces as bacteria breaks down food, causing gas — could prevent mitochondria damage. Yep, the implication is what you're thinking: People are taking the research to mean that smelling farts could prevent disease and even cancer.

The study, published in the Medicinal Chemistry Communications journal, found that hydrogen sulfide gas in rotten eggs and flatulence could be a key factor in treating diseases.

"Although hydrogen sulfide gas is well known as a pungent, foul-smelling gas in rotten eggs and flatulence, it is naturally produced in the body and could in fact be a healthcare hero with significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases," Dr. Mark Wood, a professor at the University of Exeter, said in a statement.

While hydrogen sulfide gas is harmful in large doses, the study suggests that "a whiff here and there has the power to reduce risks of cancer, strokes, heart attacks, arthritis, and dementia by preserving mitochondria," Time reports.

Dr. Matt Whiteman, a University of Exeter professor who worked on the study, said in a statement that researchers are even replicating the natural gas in a new compound, AP39, to reap its health benefits. The scientists are delivering "very small amounts" of AP39 directly into mitochondrial cells to repair damage, which "could hold the key to future therapies," the university's statement reveals.

You'll have to decide for yourself, though, whether exposure to hydrogen sulfide in flatulence is worth the potential health benefits. Meghan DeMaria

12:10 p.m. ET

Ted Cruz used some colorful — or rather, vespertilionine — language to describe the Democratic base during an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.

"From the left, their base … There's a technical term for their base, " Cruz began.

"Moscow," his interviewer answered.

Cruz nodded, but added: "I was going a different direction, which was 'bat-crap crazy.'" Watch the exchange below. Jeva Lange

11:55 a.m. ET
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On Thursday, former Republican House Speaker John Boehner claimed that a full repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act is "not going to happen," calling the suggestion that it might just "happy talk," Politico reports.

Boehner, who resigned in 2015, instead suggested that there would be small changes to ObamaCare. "Most of the framework of the Affordable Care Act … that's going to be there," Boehner predicted. He added that he "started laughing" when he heard of President Trump's plans to quickly push through health-care reform: "Republicans never agree on health care," Boehner said.

President Trump has suggested that he will have a new health care plan by mid-March, but Boehner said he isn't buying it. "[Congressional Republicans are] going to fix ObamaCare — I shouldn't call it repeal-and-replace, because it's not going to happen," he said. Jeva Lange

11:39 a.m. ET

President Donald Trump on Thursday met with several top manufacturing executives to discuss regulatory reform and job creation. But amid all that boring talk, Trump implored General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt to discuss an important matter: the time he shot a hole-in-one.

"Jeff actually watched me make a hole-in-one," Trump informed the gathered businesspeople after Immelt greeted him during the roundtable. "Should you tell that story?"

Immelt, apparently, decided that he should. Watch the moment below. Kimberly Alters

11:38 a.m. ET
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They call Zhang Hexian "Kung Fu Grandma."

A social media sensation in China, the diminutive 93-year-old from the eastern Zhejiang province has been practicing the martial art since age 4. At the time, her country "was at war," Zhang explains, "so it was a good way to learn self-defense." She has since mastered a form of kung fu that encompasses 15 styles, each with 36 moves, and now teaches the skill to others in her village.

Zhang, who boasts that she’s never been to a hospital, credits kung fu with keeping her healthy. "To have good body," she says, "you need to exercise and keep a positive attitude." Christina Colizza

11:38 a.m. ET

President Donald Trump met with manufacturing executives Thursday to discuss "tax and trade, regulatory reform, and jobs," Fox News reports.

"Today we have [here] 24 CEOs from the largest manufacturing companies in the country, and even in the world," Trump said. "They represent — people just in this room — nearly $1 trillion of sales and two million employees, large majorities of which are in the United States."

During the roundtable, Trump touted the creation of 1,800 Lockheed Martin jobs, which were announced earlier this month, as well as Walmart's plan to create 10,000 U.S. jobs this year, which was announced prior to Trump's inauguration.

Trump also took time to engage with the CEOs, asking the Lockheed Martin CEO if she would have wanted Hillary Clinton to win the election, telling the CEO of Caterpillar that "Caterpillars are the best," and replying to the Campbell Soup Company CEO's introduction with "good soup." Jeva Lange

11:14 a.m. ET

What will you tell your grandchildren when they ask you whose side you were on in the great spiritual war of 2017? It might be time to start picking sides: On Friday, witches worldwide reportedly plan to "cast a spell that would bind Trump to all who abet him," and the folks at ChristianNationalism.com plan to fight back with "a Day of Prayer" to protect the president.

The witches are instructed by "writer, speaker, and magical thinker" Michael M. Hughes to cast their binding spell on every night of the waning crescent moon, such as the one tomorrow, using "an unflattering photo of Trump," the Tower card of a tarot deck, a pin or nail, a white candle, a feather, bowls of water and salt, matches, and a dish of sand. For anyone worried about their karma, Hughes writes that binding "seeks to restrain someone from doing harm" and is "differentiated from cursing or hexing, which is meant to inflict harm on the target(s)." The more you know!

In the other corner, ChristianNationalism.com commands "Christian soldiers" to counter the witchcraft by reading from Psalm 23. "We ask you to join us in praying for the strength of our nation, our elected representatives, and for the souls of the lost who would take up Satanic arms against us," the author writes.

And if that wasn't enough, there could possibly be "chaos magicians for Trump" in the mix:

Will the witches and Christian soldiers/chaos magicians simply cancel out the other's prayers/spells? Will one overcome the other to become America's spiritual victor? Trump's mortal fate hangs in the balance, and only time will tell. Jeva Lange

11:00 a.m. ET
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Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said in a radio interview Wednesday she is "open" to using a subpoena to procure President Trump's tax records if his "voluntary cooperation" is not forthcoming. Collins has a seat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating allegations of attempted Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"All of us are determined to get the answers. This is a counter-intelligence operation in many ways," Collins said. "That's what our committee specializes in. We are used to probing in depth in this area." Critics suggest the tax returns could shed light on Trump business dealings in Russia that would be relevant to the election investigation.

Trump's refusal to release his tax records is a break with several decades of presidential tradition but does not run afoul of any laws. Collins' Republican colleagues in House and Senate leadership have shown no indication they share her enthusiasm for subpoenaing a president from their own party. Bonnie Kristian

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