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April 11, 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.


Did you know that in the U.S. before 1973, it was illegal to profit off of healthcare? (Investment Watch)

The Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973 passed by Nixon changed everything.

KFC goes antibiotic-free (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The policy change is expected to have a widespread effect on the poultry industry, because KFC — owned by Yum Brands — buys its chicken from a great many flocks as a food-safety precaution….

Measles outbreak across Europe (BBC)

Measles is spreading across Europe wherever immunisation coverage has dropped, the World Health Organization is warning. The largest outbreaks are being seen in Italy and Romania. In the first month of this year, Italy reported more than 200 cases. Romania has reported more than 3,400 cases and 17 deaths since January 2016.

U.S.-UK alliance targets the world's deadliest superbugs (Reuters)

Eleven biotech companies and research teams in Britain and the United States were awarded up to $48 million in funding on Thursday to speed development of new antibiotics powerful enough to take on the world's deadliest superbugs.

Mom at center of wrongful birth debate: ‘If they had cared, they would have called.’ (CNN)

Ever since Lesli was born 48 years ago, Dortha has longed to hear her daughter say a single word. ...Dortha contracted rubella when she was 2½ weeks pregnant. It would leave Lesli blind, deaf and severely brain-damaged. …Dortha had sued her doctor, accusing him of failing to diagnose the rubella. … The high court's ruling set a precedent that said a woman could sue her doctor for a "wrongful birth."…This year, the news brought Dortha another shock: A Texas state senator had introduced a bill that would ban such lawsuits.

Why Didn't Zika Cause a Surge in Microcephaly in 2016? (NPR)

Health officials were predicting more than 1,000 cases of microcephaly in the northeast of Brazil last year. But there were fewer than 100, Dye and his colleagues report Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Be My Eyes: App lets the sighted lend their eyes to the blind (CS Monitor)

How a relatively simple piece of programming is creating global micro-volunteering opportunities.


Facebook to tackle fake news with educational campaign (BBC)

For three days, an ad will appear at the top of users' news feeds linking to advice on "how to spot fake news" and report it. The campaign, which will be promoted in 14 countries, is "designed to help people become more discerning readers", the social media firm said. But experts questioned whether the measure would have any real impact.

Trump signs repeal of U.S. broadband privacy rules (Reuters)

…The bill repeals regulations adopted in October by the Federal Communications Commission under the Obama administration requiring internet service providers to do more to protect customers' privacy than websites like Alphabet Inc's Google or Facebook Inc. The rules had not yet taken effect but would have required internet providers to obtain consumer consent before using precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children's information and web browsing history for advertising and marketing.

Here's why hackers find it so easy to steal your most personal data (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Consumers have been overwhelmed by stories that their personal data has been breached by hackers. A new story seems to pop up every day.

So we contacted Kevin O’Brien, CEO of GreatHorn in Boston, and simply asked: What’s the problem.

O’Brien provided a clear explanation, and good advice for attacking the problem

Farmers Look for Ways to Circumvent Tractor Software Locks (NPR)

Fixing a modern tractor takes more than the right parts, but also the right software. Farmers are lobbying for the ability to buy that software, and some are hacking their way around the problem.

She found a way to make plastic waste useful (CS Monitor)

Medha Tadpatrikar helped design a machine in Pune, India, that heats up plastic to convert it to fuel. The process is eco-friendly in more ways than one.

Space station debris shield floats away during spacewalk  (Reuters)

 A five-foot (1.5-meter) debris shield being installed on the International Space Station floated away on Thursday during a spacewalk by two veteran U.S. astronauts, a NASA TV broadcast showed.

SpaceX makes history twice in one evening (CS Monitor)

The 15-year-old company launched a recycled rocket into space, then recovered it, taking a giant leap toward making spaceflight more like aviation. 

Now space fans can search through a 100 years of NASA space photos online (CS Monitor)

On Tuesday NASA unveiled its new, online Image and Video Library that brings together more than 140,000 photos, videos, and audio clips.