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E-cig vapor affects cells similarly to tobacco smoke, study says

Electronic cigarettes have seen a surge in popularity over the past few years, mostly because they're often portrayed as a safer alternative to regular cigarettes.

But new research presented at the American Association of Cancer Research's annual meeting this week says that might not be the case. (Via Al Jazeera)

The study, published in the journal Nature, found that people exposed to e-cigarette vapors suffer from "strikingly similar" negative effects as people who smoke or are around traditional cigarettes.

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To come to this conclusion, researchers looked at human bronchial cells grown in a medium that were exposed to e-cigarette vapor. They then exposed a separate group of cells grown in a different medium to tobacco smoke. (Via Flickr / Lauri RantalaWikimedia Commons / Tomasz Sienicki)

After comparing the two mediums, the scientists found that the cells exposed to the e-cigarette vapor showed very similar gene mutations to the ones exposed to tobacco smoke.

One of the study's authors told Digital Trends, "They may be safer [than tobacco], but our preliminary studies suggest that they may not be benign."

Now, further research into the discovery is needed. But these similar gene mutations could be an indicator that e-cigarette vapor could increase a user's risk of cancer — even though the vapor is tobacco free.

There have been other recent studies that show more dangers of electronic cigarettes. A report from The New York Times shows an increasing number of people are getting poisoned just from the liquid used to refill the tanks on e-cigarettes — especially kids.

Because of these scary potential risks, several states have taken steps to outlaw the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and ban them from being consumed in certain public places. (Via WNBC)

The moral of the story here? Smoking electronic cigarettes is harmful, but we have a ways to go before we know exactly how dangerous it really is.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • Monday, March 27, marks the first-ever Muslim Women’s Day — a day for Muslim women to share their stories and for others to celebrate them during Women’s History Month. >> Read more trending news Created by MuslimGirl.com with the help of dozens of media groups and websites, the day is an opportunity to “hear from a community that’s often talked about, but rarely given the chance to speak.” All day long, outlets such as Refinery29, Teen Vogue and Nylon magazine, as well as users on Twitter and several more outlets, have highlighted Muslim women from diverse backgrounds in different lines of work. TeenVogue shared a Twitter thread of stories from and about Muslim women and their experiences. In honor of the first Muslim Women’s Day, we rounded up some of our favorite inspirational quotes from iconic Muslim women around the world. Social media users have also used their platforms to celebrate with the hashtag #MuslimWomensDay. But the movement also invited its share of criticism. The backlash is similar to the criticism Nike faced when the company unveiled a new product for Muslim women: the Nike Pro Hijab. Some criticized the company for supporting the “oppression of women,” prompting tweets of dissent with the hashtag #BoycottNike, despite Nike saying the product was developed with Muslim athletes after some expressed frustration with competing while wearing a traditional hijab.
  • No one believed she was being sexually abused, so she took matters into her own hands.   The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has arrested a 50-year-old man, after a young victim filmed him touching her in a lewd manner and then called police.   According to the arrest report for Christopher Hranek, he's accused of touching the girl's feet, thighs, buttocks, and genital area while he was being recorded.   That victim tells police this has been happening since she was in elementary school. but no one believed her claims in the past.   She could not provide an exact age of when it started.   Hranek is now charged with lewd/lascivious battery- engaging in sexual activity with a person 12 or older, but less than 16-years-old.
  • GameStop, a video game and consumer electronics retailer, will close at least 150 stores after reporting another year of declined sales. >> Read more trending news The Texas-based company released its report of sales and earnings for 2017 last week, and projected a grim 2017 for some stores. In the fourth quarter of last year, total global sales decreased nearly 14 percent, and new hardware sales declined 29 percent. » STORE CLOSURES: 9 retailers closing stores nationwide this year A spokesperson told Fortune that non-productive stores would close sometime in 2017. However ,specific locations were not announced. About 2 to 3 percent of the retailer’s total amount of stores will close. USA Today reported that Game Stop plans to open 65 Technology Brands stores, which include cellphone retailers. It also plans to open 35 Collectibles stores, which sell apparel. GameStop operates 7,500 stores across 14 countries.
  • The Jacksonville woman accused of smuggling in a Mexican national to serve as a pregnancy surrogate, then forcing the woman in to manual labor while being physically and psychologically abusive, has pleaded guilty. We first told you about the federal criminal complaint against Esthela Clark in June 2015. Investigators say she paid around $3,000 to smuggle a Mexican woman in to the US, telling the woman she would serve as a surrogate for her pregnancy while under medical supervision. In reality, the court records say Clark tried to inseminate the woman herself by using a plastic syringe and her boyfriend’s sperm, performing the procedure on the dining room floor of their Jacksonville apartment. There was no successful insemination. Court records say Clark also forced the woman in to domestic labor, while being physically and psychologically abusive- including subjecting the victim to an extreme diet that resulted in her losing 65 pounds. The victim’s family was also contacted by Clark in an effort to recover the cost of the smuggling and more. The plea agreement says Clark also told the victim that she would ensure her family and child were hurt if the victim tried to escape. Clark was indicted on a total of nine counts, including harboring aliens, sale in to involuntary servitude, sex trafficking and more. She has pleaded guilty to one count of forced labor, and could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, according to the US Attorney’s Office. The plea agreement says the other charges have been dropped, although the “factual basis” in the court records substantially stands as it did in the indictment. A sentencing date has not yet been set. The federal court docket says Clark’s trial had been scheduled for May.
  • On March 24, a surge of photos posted by everyday people and celebrities such as Taraji P. Henson and LL Cool J on social media show images with text claiming that 14 girls have disappeared in the last 24 hours in Washington, D.C., and the images have continued to pick up steam.   >> Read more trending news WRC reported however, that the information in those images is not entirely true.  Here are things to know about the missing teens in Washington: Police say that 14 teen girls have not disappeared from Washington in one day. The girls pictured in the viral image went missing at different times. Relisha Tenau Rudd, pictured on the far left of the image, was last seen in Washington on March 1, 2014. Pheonix Coldon was last seen December 18, 2011 in St. Louis. Shaniah Boyd was last seen in Washington. Makayla Randall, pictured on the far right, has been missing since October 1, 2012 and was last seen in Oak Park, Missouri. WRC reported that police have changed their method of communicating information about missing persons. There has been no increase in the number of missing people.  The Metropolitan Police Department has changed how it shares information on missing persons. “We've just been posting them on social media more often,” Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Rachel Reid said. Chanel Dickerson, commander of the Washington police’s Youth and Family Services Division, told The Washington Post that the 211 people reported missing in January reflected  better reporting by families, not an increase in missing teens. Many of the missing teens are black or Latino. Outrage over the missing persons comes from a perception that people of color who are missing are not covered in the media as often as white missing persons. Derrica Wilson, the co-founder and chief executive of the Black and Missing Foundation, which works to raise awareness of missing people of color, told The Huffington Post 40 percent of missing persons in the U.S. are people of color. Police say there is not a known link between the missing persons and human trafficking. Police spokeswoman Karimah Bilal told WRC the teens reported missing so far in 2017 left voluntarily. WUSA reported that since many teens left on their own, Amber Alerts have not been issued for them. “Because of the number of releases, there have been concerns that young girls in the District of Columbia are victims of human trafficking or have been kidnapped,” Bilal said. “We look at every case closely to make sure that doesn't happen, but to my knowledge, that hasn't been a factor in any of our missing person cases,” Bilal said.  Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser and Washington police told WUSA they confirmed that there is no link between the missing persons and human trafficking. Although there is no reported  link, human trafficking is an issue in D.C. The D.C. Human Trafficking Task Force was formed in 2004 to find victims of trafficking and prosecute those who are trafficking victims. Other nongovernmental organizations have also been established to combat the issue. Those who run away or leave voluntarily may still be in danger. “We need to find out the underlying reasons that so many young people in the District of Columbia have chosen to leave home voluntarily because they feel they have no other alternatives,” Dickerson told WRC. The National Conference of State Legislatures said that runaway youths face a higher likelihood and risk of anxiety, depression, suicide, and engaging in survival sex, human trafficking and dealing drugs to meet basic needs, like food, clothing and shelter. The also have an increased likelihood of participating in drug use. Research from the National Runaway Safeline says family conflict and being thrown out of the house -- sometimes because of a child’s sexual orientation -- are reasons why youths may run away. “One person missing is one person too many, especially when you’re talking about our young people,” Dickerson said at a Wednesday town hall. Lawmakers are calling on the FBI to investigate many of the missing persons cases. The Associated Press reported that Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond, D-La., and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District of Columbia in Congress, sent a letter Tuesday that called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey to devote time to investigating the number of missing children in Washington and “determine whether these developments are an anomaly or whether they are indicative of an underlying trend that must be addressed.” “Ten children of color went missing in our nation's capital in a period of two weeks and at first garnered very little media attention. That's deeply disturbing,” the letter sent to the Justice Department said. Members of the Washington community are demanding answers. Community members in Washington and across the country are demanding answers and action from officials and media out of frustration over lack of media coverage of missing black women and girls. A 2010 study from Pace University found black missing children and missing girls were “significantly underrepresented” in TV news coverage. A 2015 study from West Virginia University replicated those findings and showed that those groups were underrepresented compared to the 2014 FBI-reported proportions in which black people and females are reported as missing. That FBI report on missing-person entries showed 37 percent of those reported missing under the age of 21 were black. It found that white children who are missing are underrepresented in TV news. Members of the community met at a town hall Wednesday and WUSA9 reported that many were frustrated and disappointing with the city’s response. “Why are we just finding out?” a person asked.  “I was astounded when I looked at the number of missing African-American females,” Dickerson told WTTG Thursday. “I'm not trying to minimize that other people aren’t missing, but they looked like me and so I just wanted to make sure that every investigation focused on every child thesame way and we get the same exposure to everyone regardless of your race or where you live.” The number of missing persons in Washington changes daily. The Metropolitan Police Department reports the number of open and closed missing person cases and has them broken down by year, critical and non-critical, and juvenile and adult. Recent data from the department shows a decrease in reported missing person cases from 2,433 in 2015 to 2,242 in 2016.  The regularly updated list of missing persons, including flyers of missing persons, are on the Metropolitan Police Department website. 

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