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November 29, 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.


Women advised to sleep on side to help prevent stillbirth (BBC)

The risk of stillbirth is doubled if women go to sleep on their backs in the last trimester, a study finds.

VA study shows parasite from Vietnam may be killing veterans (AP)

A half a century after serving in Vietnam, hundreds of veterans have a new reason to believe they may be dying from a silent bullet — test results show some men may have been infected by a slow-killing parasite while fighting in the jungles of Southeast Asia. The Department of Veterans Affairs this spring commissioned a small pilot study to look into the link between liver flukes ingested through raw or undercooked fish and a rare bile duct cancer. It can take decades for symptoms to appear. By then, patients are often in tremendous pain, with just a few months to live.

Hospitals are rationing saline solutions. Patients are starting to worry. (Sacramento Bee)

Sacramento resident Charis Hill was caught off guard by the tiny bottle of saline solution hanging from the intravenous pole when she went for the latest infusion of medication that helps her avoid crippling pain. Accustomed to seeing a much larger bag of fluid, she immediately asked staff about the change. That’s when she learned that since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, key U.S. pharmaceutical plants on the island are experiencing manufacturing delays and distribution holdups that have caused unprecedented shortages…

Girl taking medical marijuana for seizures suing Jeff Sessions and DEA (CBS)

A 12-year-old girl is spearheading a campaign to legalize medical marijuana across the whole country. Alexis Bortell said she and her family had no choice but to move from their Texas home to Colorado to treat her severe epilepsy. Now, her family and a handful of others are suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Breast cancer tumours 'larger' in overweight women (BBC)

Women with a higher body mass index might need more frequent mammograms, researchers suggest.

Counting the costs: U.S. hospitals feeling the pain of physician burnout (Reuters)

(Reuters) - Dr. Brian Halloran, a vascular surgeon at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, starts planning his garden long before spring arrives in southeast Michigan.

What The Industry Knew About Sugar's Health Effects, But Didn't Tell Us (NPR)

The sugar industry pulled the plug on an animal study it funded in the 1960s. Initial results pointed to a link between sugar consumption and elevated triglycerides, which raises heart disease risk.

Wrecked and wretched: obscure vomiting illness linked to long-term pot use (KQED)

For 17 years, Chalfonte LeNee Queen suffered periodic episodes of violent retching and abdominal pain that would knock her off her feet for days, sometimes leaving her writhing on the floor in pain.

Flies more germ-laden than suspected (BBC)

Flies' disease-carrying potential may be greater than previously thought, say US researchers.


FCC Unveils Plan To Repeal Net Neutrality Rules (NPR)

The FCC will vote Dec. 14 on a plan to undo rules that prevent Internet providers from blocking or slowing websites and apps. The plan would require broadband providers to disclose their practices.

Uber Data On 57 Million People Stolen In Massive Hack (NPR)

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says there is no excuse for the cover up of a 2016 data breach. A source tells NPR that the company paid hackers $100,000 to delete the data and keep the attack a secret.

The driverless revolution may exact a political price (Los Angeles Times)

Driverless vehicles threaten to dramatically reduce America's 1.7-million trucking jobs. It is the front end of a wave of automation that technologists and economists have been warning for years will come crashing down on America's political order. Some predict it could rival the impact of the economic globalization and the resulting off-shoring of jobs that propelled Trump's victory in the presidential election.

20 countries agree to end coal use by 2030 (CS Monitor)

Twenty countries and two US states have banded together through the Powering Past Coal alliance to phase out coal and cut carbon emissions by 2030 in an effort to keep to the Paris Agreement target for lowering emissions.

Google to 'derank' Russia Today and Sputnik (BBC)

Alphabet's Eric Schmidt says the search engine's algorithms can help reduce spread of propaganda.

FAA Approves Drone As 'Cell Phone Tower In The Sky' For Puerto Rico (NPR)

The aircraft is called the Flying COW, for Cell on Wings. Developed by AT&T, it can provide voice, data and Internet service for 40 square miles and up to 8,000 people at a time.

Germany bans children's smartwatches (BBC)

Telecoms regulator says kids' smartwatches are spying devices and are to be banned under German law.

This Living Light is powered by a houseplant (Inhabitat)

As organic compounds are released into the soil from photosynthesis, bacteria generates electrons and protons. These particles are tapped as an energy source to power the light.

Artificial lights are eating away at dark nights — and that's not a good thing (Los Angeles Times)

30% of vertebrates and more than 60% of invertebrates are nocturnal