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December 13, 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.


Babies' brains damaged by pollution, UNICEF says (BBC)

Toxic air is putting the brain development of millions of infants under one at risk, UNICEF says.

Huntington’s breakthrough may stop disease (BBC)

The defect that causes the neurodegenerative disease Huntington's has been corrected in patients for the first time, the BBC has learned. An experimental drug, injected into spinal fluid, safely lowered levels of toxic proteins in the brain.

Health officials sound the alarm on Trump-led reversal of ban om risky pesticides (RawStory)

 In a 2000 agreement with the chemical industry, the EPA banned … (chlorpyrifos) in household insecticides and has restricted its use on certain vegetables…In 2016, the agency compiled a summary of health effects in humans…Kids with more exposure to the chemical were more likely to have developmental and physical delays and attention deficit disorders. Other studies have found that fetuses exposed to the chemical through their mother's blood — especially those that live near farms — are more likely to grow up with autism and reduced intelligence, perceptual reasoning and memory… some 1- to 2-year-olds who ate a lot of food grown with chlorpyrifos could get 140 times more of the chemical than is considered safe…

Even Low-Dose Contraceptives Slightly Increase Breast Cancer Risk (NPR)

The absolute risk is very low. But low-dose formulations of birth control pills and other hormone-releasing contraceptives pose about the same risk to breasts as older formulations, a big study finds.

Why A Pill That's 4 Cents in Tanzania Costs Up To $400 In the U.S. (NPR)

The medication fights hookworm. It's one of several drugs for "neglected tropical diseases" that are priced differently in the United States than they are in the developing world.

Safer DNA editing method may fix human diseases, Salk scientists report (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Salk Institute scientists say they have developed a safer method of a popular gene editing technology. In a study released Thursday, they demonstrate it reverses illnesses in mice, including diabetes, muscular dystrophy and kidney disease.

Here's What It Looks Like When You Fry Your Eye in an Eclipse (NPR)

Most people seem to have heeded the warning not to look at August's total eclipse without eye protection. But an unlucky few suffered serious injury, and doctors could see changes at a cellular level.

Warning over eating raw dough due to E. coli risk in flour (BBC)

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned against eating raw dough, batter or cake mixture because of the risk of E. coli from flour.


12 must-have products going viral in 2017 (Household Saving Tips)

Must Have Viral Products. . .those words bring to mind cool products, interesting items, and wacky gizmos. Sometimes, you might be tempted to spend your whole paycheck on the amazing inventions of everyday citizens. These 12 products make great stocking stuffers with Christmas only a few months away, maybe these will give you some ideas.

This Year, Consider Giving Presence Instead of Presents (NPR)

Science says consciously spending time with our loved ones is more important to them than receiving expensive presents.

Video of starving polar bear ‘rips your heart out of your chest’ (New York Times)

A team of conservationists documented the plight of an emaciated polar bear in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Now some wonder what can be done to save them.

In Your Face: China’s all-seeing state (BBC)

China has been building what it calls "the world's biggest camera surveillance network”. 

Massive Black Hole Reveals When the First Stars Blinked On (NPR)

Scientists have detected a black hole thought to be about 800 million times as massive as our sun that is helping to reveal when the universe filled with starlight.

Fusion breakthrough explained: What are quarks again? (CS Monitor)

Physicists have confirmed the existence of a doubly charmed baryon, opening the door to an entirely new kind of fusion, known as quark fusion.