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East County News Service

March 9, 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.


Overprescribed: veterans and the painkiller problem (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Camp Pendleton Marine Jeremy Thomas had his hand blown off in Afghanistan in 2011. A year later, he was hooked on prescription painkillers. Another year in, he had turned to street heroin and crime to support his addiction. By 2014, Thomas was booted from the Marine Corps and headed for a near-deadly overdose.

Health Officials Monitor Jump in Human Cases of Bird Flu in China (NPR)

A surge of human infections in China of the H7N9 bird flu has health officials investigating the reasons why. More than 450 people have been infected this year and a third have died.

Forbidding Forecast for Lyme Disease in the Northeast (NPR)

Lyme disease is spreading, and this summer is shaping up as a whopper. Why has the tick-borne illness gotten so bad? The answer traces back to something the colonists did more than 200 years ago.

 Did You Get Bit by a Lyme-Infested Tick? Here's What to Do (NPR)

… "The Infectious Diseases Society of America recommends a one-day treatment of doxycycline, prophylactically," Fallon says, "That's believed to be protective, to some extent, from the disease."

Drugs disaster (BBC)

Economic incentives have dangerously distorted the use of antibiotics in people and animals.

Patients Demand The 'Right to Try' Experimental Drugs, But Costs Can Be Steep (NPR)

Terminally ill patients want easier access to candidate medicines still in the earliest stages of testing. While 33 states have passed laws to enable that, ethicists also warn of big risks.

Reports of Medical Breakthroughs Often Don't Prove Out (NPR)

Medical breakthroughs that were covered by newspapers were often later disproved by more comprehensive research, a study finds. That's a problem for scientists and journalists.

WATCH: Raindrops Catapult Bacteria into the Air, and It's Beautiful (NPR)

They don't have wings, but bacteria sure can fly. Researchers at MIT say that tiny bubbles trapped by raindrops play a part in launching bacteria on long-distance flights.

Feeling Lonely? Too Much Time on Social Media May Be Why (NPR)

People who reported spending the most time on social media — more than two hours a day — had twice the odds of perceived social isolation than those who said they spent a half hour per day or less on those sites…The study appeared Monday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.


This Tiny Home Was 3D Printed in 24 Hours(Apartment Therapy)

Only two years have passed since the world's first 3D printed apartment building was constructed in China, and since then, the sustainable architectural process has been refined to produce stellar results in time frames that are becoming increasingly faster. The most recent example is this tiny home that was 3D printed in just 24 hours…the single-story, 400-square-foot residential structure was completed in Russia, cost a little more than $10,000 and was completed entirely onsite…

New insight into secret lives of Neanderthals (BBC)

Neanderthals dosed themselves with painkillers and possibly penicillin, according to a study of their teeth.

DNA clues to why woolly mammoth died out (BBC)

The last woolly mammoths were wracked with genetic disease and had a strange shiny coat, say scientists. Knowledge of the last days of the mammoth could help modern species on the brink of extinction....

Ancient human tree cultivation shaped Amazon landscape (Reuters)

 Ancient indigenous peoples had a far more profound impact on the composition of the vast Amazon rainforest than previously known, according to a study showing how tree species domesticated by humans long ago still dominate big swathes of the wilderness.

Scientists create first artificial mouse 'embryo' from stem cells (Reuters)

Scientists in Britain have for the first time created a structure that resembles a mouse embryo using a 3D scaffold and two types of stem cells - research which deepens understanding of the earliest stages of mammalian development.

Doctor Launches Vision Quest to Help Astronauts’ Eyeballs (NPR)

Spending time in space changes people: Not just their outlook on life, but also their eyesight. For years, a North Texas doctor has been trying to find out what is causing this vision change among astronauts. His latest research provides some clues — and connects astronauts on the International Space Station, cancer patients on a roller coaster plane flight, and high-tech sleeping sacks.