HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

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December 27, 2017 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.

HEALTH

 SCIENCE AND TECH

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

HEALTH

Breakthroughs put diseases on the back foot (BBC)

It has been a remarkable year of promise in medical science. Incurable diseases from sickle cell to haemophilia now look as though they can be treated. Here are the highlights.

'Longest-frozen' embryo born 24 years on (BBC)

US mother who gave birth to the child was herself only one year old when the baby was conceived.

US lifts ban on lethal virus experiments despite security risks (BBC)

Scientists can apply to make lethal strains of illnesses despite fear of accidental outbreaks.

SCIENCE AND TECH

Why California is phasing out these light bulbs January 1 (San Diego Union-Tribune)

If you have them, you can still use them. But starting Jan. 1, those traditional incandescent light bulbs will disappear from stores in California as part of a national initiative to switch over to more energy-efficient light bulbs.

Harvard student helps crack mystery of Inca Code (Boston Globe)

It’s a mystery that has left many scholars flummoxed. For all the achievements of the Inca Empire, including a massive roadway system, sophisticated farming methods, and jaw-dropping architecture, it was the only pre-Columbian state that did not invent a system of writing. Instead, the Inca, whose civilization originated in Peru and grew to include peoples and cultures all along the west coast of South America from 1400 to 1532, relied on knotted strings to encode information, a system so complex that scholars still struggle to make sense of it.

SpaceX rocket launch lights up California sky, freaks out some residents (NPR)

An iridescent streak lit up the sky over Southern California on Friday night, stopping traffic and leading some residents to marvel and others to worry about a UFO or even a nuclear bomb attack. In reality, it was a SpaceX rocket lifting off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, north of Santa Barbara, Calif., carrying 10 satellites for the Iridium constellation. They will be used in mobile voice and data communications.

SpaceX and Irridium launching satellites that could someday revolutionize international space travel (CNBC)

SpaceX's launch Friday marks the halfway point in putting a 75-satellite constellation into orbit. Iridium CEO Matt Desch says the Aireon system on board the satellites "could reduce both the cost and time of air travel." "Aireon makes the whole planet visible to air traffic controllers," Desch says.

Edward Snowden made an app to protect your laptop (The Verge)

...Snowden and Lee, who both sit on the board of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, partnered with the Guardian Project, a collective of app developers who focus on privacy and encrypted communications, to create Haven over the last year.

Russian hacking groups, including Fancy Bear, targeted journalists around the world (CS Monitor)

Journalists covering the Russian government have been identified as one of the main groups attacked by Russian hackers who exposed their personal messages and emails.

Library Of Congress Will No Longer Archive Every Tweet (NPR)

The library says that as of Jan. 1, it will only acquire tweets "on a very selective basis." By 2013, the archive had already amassed more than 170 billion tweets.

Fungal disease poses global threat to snakes (BBC)

Snake populations worldwide may already be infected with a potentially deadly disease, say scientists.

As Corals Wither Around The World, Scientists Try IVF (NPR)

Battered by climate change and pollution, coral reefs are dying off. But in Guam, one group of scientists are trying to revive these tiny animals — with the coral equivalent of IVF.