Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

July 18, 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.


Lost mothers: An estimated 700 to 900 women in the U.S. died of pregnancy-related causes in 2016. We have identified 126 of them so far. (Pro Publica)

The U.S. has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world. Yet these deaths of women from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth are almost invisible. When a new or expectant mother dies, her obituary rarely mentions the circumstances. Her identity is shrouded by medical institutions, regulators and state maternal mortality review committees. Her loved ones mourn her loss in private. The lessons to be learned from her death are often lost as well.

Baby boomers turn to stem cells for help with painful joints (San Diego Union-Tribune)

For pain doctor Mark Wallace, arthritis meant his hobby of competitive swimming was becoming too painful. “Every stroke was like an ice pick in my shoulder,” said Wallace, chief of the division of pain medicine at UC San Diego. Cortisone shots relieved the pain for about a month, and then it would return.

Novel leukemia treatment could be first U.S. gene therapy (ABC)

A treatment for a common childhood blood cancer could become the first gene therapy available in the U.S.A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted 10-0 on Wednesday in favor of the leukemia treatment developed by the University of Pennsylvania and Novartis Corp.

Dental lobby prevails: grieving parents shelve `Caleb’s law’ again (Times of San Diego)

It has become a familiar routine for the Sears family: Gather the medical experts, trek to Sacramento, and tell another panel of lawmakers how their 6-year-old son died from the anesthesia a dentist gave him to pull a tooth. Then watch as legislators water down the solution that pediatricians insist would prevent other California children from dying the same way.

Could Charlie Gard’s case happen in the United States? (CNN)

A beautiful boy born 11 months ago is dying in London. The world watches as his parents battle to keep their child alive. Courts will not allow the hospital to release the baby, Charlie Gard, into the parents' custody so they can travel to try an experimental treatment. Across the ocean, many people are appalled or confused, and wondering: Could a similar situation happen in the United States?

SDSU Study Reveals Hookah Chemical Linked To Cancer, Heart Disease (KPBS)

Burning hookah tobacco creates a byproduct that's believed to cause lung cancer and heart disease, according to a San Diego State University study released today.

'Living Drug' That Fights Cancer By Harnessing The Immune System Clears Key Hurdle

A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee unanimously recommended that the agency approve this "living drug" approach for children and young adults who are fighting a common form of leukemia. 

Her newborn kept getting sick because she was ingesting placenta, CDC says (Jewish World Review)

The practice of placenta-eating has gone mainstream and that's a problem, experts say 

Artificial sweeteners linked to weight gain over time, review of studies says (ABC)

But a new analysis of studies in The Canadian Medical Association Journal looked at the long-term heart health, weight, stroke incidence and blood pressure levels of more than 406,000 people who said they use artificial sweeteners in place of sugar and found that the effects weren't on the positive side.

Seeking Online Medical Advice? Google's Top Results Aren't Always On Target (NPR)

Google's search results on health issues can be influential, but they can also be unreliable or wrong. The highlighted answer may come from a dubious source while a more credible one is buried below.

NHS ranked 'number one' health system (BBC)

The UK health service was praised for its safety, affordability and efficiency, but fared less well on outcomes such as preventing early death and cancer survival.  The research by the Commonwealth Fund, a US think tank, looked at countries across the world, including the US, Canada, Australia, France and Germany. The US came bottom.


High speed Hyperloop ready for key test in Nevada (Reuters)

Engineers will soon conduct a crucial test of a futuristic technology championed by entrepreneur Elon Musk that seeks to revolutionize transportation by sending passengers and cargo packed into pods through an intercity system of vacuum tubes… Hyperloop aims to achieve speeds of 250 miles per hour (402 km per hour) in its upcoming phase of testing.

Jupiter’s great red spot (CBS)

On July 10, 2017, NASA's Juno spacecraft flew directly over the Great Red Spot of Jupiter, giving us the closest view yet of the most massive storm in the solar system. 

FBI warns parents of privacy risks associated with internet-connected toys  (Reuters)

 The FBI on Monday warned parents of privacy and safety risks from children's toys connected to the internet.

Honda recalls more than 1M cars over battery fires (10 News)

Honda is hitting its U.S. customers with yet another recall -- this time over flaming batteries.The Japanese firm announced on Thursday that it would recall nearly 1.2 million Accord vehicles produced between 2013 and 2016, after receiving multiple reports of the cars' battery sensors causing fires in the engine.

China just switched on the world's largest floating solar power plant (WeForum)

The facility is located in the city of Huainan, in China’s eastern Anhui province. It has a capacity of 40 megawatts (MW), enough to power a small town. And in a stroke of pleasing symbolism, the plant floats over a flooded former coal-mining region….

Food Evolution: The GMO debate continues (Cosmos)

Neil deGrasse Tyson's new film, Food Evolution, separates the hype from the science as it unravels the debate around food and GMOs. Here is the trailer.


Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at