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East County News Service

January 10, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting-edge news that could impact your health and our future.



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


Third of breast cancer patients treated unnecessarily, study says (CNN)

One in three women with breast cancer detected by a mammogram is treated unnecessarily, because screening tests found tumors that are so slow-growing that they're essentially harmless, according to a Danish study published Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine, which has renewed debate over the value of early detection.

Departing HHS chief cautions Republicans seeking repeal of Obamacare (

Republicans in six years have been unable to produce an alternative to Obamacare that can be “measured and scored,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said …If the Republican majority in Congress does produce one in the next two years, she said, people should ask, “Does it cover as many? Does it maintain quality? And does it keep bending the cost curve?” If it fails on any one of these measures, Burwell added, “it’s a step backward.”

New Law Provides Fertility Treatment Benefits to Wounded Veterans (NPR)

Veterans' advocates estimate that as many as 2,000 former service members are possible candidates for in vitro fertilization because of military related fertility problems.

Unexpected Risks Found in Editing Genes to Prevent Inherited Disorders (NPR)

In 2016, scientists combined the genes of three people in an effort to make a baby free of an inherited disease. But the process doesn't wipe out all faulty mitochondria, and could pose new risks.


New routers defend smart homes against hackers (BBC)

Security firms have launched routers at CES that can stop smart household gadgets being hijacked by hackers.

Study finds more extreme storms ahead for California (MIT News)

New technique predicts frequency of heavy precipitation with global warming.

Amazon files patent for flying warehouse (BBC)

Amazon has filed a patent for massive flying warehouses equipped with fleets of drones that deliver goods to key locations.

French Law Giving Workers 'The Right to Disconnect' Goes into Effect (NPR)

As of Jan. 1, French companies with more than 50 workers will be obligated to allow their employees to ignore work emails outside of work hours.

Navy dolphins to help locate rare vaquita porpoise (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The U.S. Navy has for decades deployed bottlenose dolphins to search for underwater mines and detect enemy divers. Now the versatile sea mammals and their San Diego-based trainers are preparing for an unprecedented challenge: locating some of the few surviving vaquita porpoises in Mexico’s Upper...