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January 31, 2018 (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.


U.S. flu outbreak worse since 2009 swine pandemic (BBC)

Thirty-seven children have died and nearly 12,000 patients have been admitted to hospital nationwide. The outbreak could surpass 2014-15 when 34 million Americans fell ill, says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Is Smoking Pot While Pregnant Safe for the Baby? (NPR)

Adults in a growing number of states can now legally use marijuana without a doctor's prescription. But obstetricians worry pregnant women don't realize the drug could hurt their kids.

More birth defects seen in U.S. areas where Zika was present (Reuters)

(Reuters) - The mosquito-born Zika virus may be responsible for an excess number of birth defects in U.S. states and territories where the virus had been circulating in local mosquito populations, even in women who had no lab evidence of Zika exposure during pregnancy, U.S. health officials said on Thursday.

Flu Virus Can Trigger a Heart Attack (NPR)

"We found that you're six times more likely to have a heart attack during the week after being diagnosed with influenza, compared to the year before or after the infection," says study author Dr. Jeff Kwong, an epidemiologist and family physician with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Public Health Ontario in Canada.

What's the 5-Year-Survival Rate for Cancer Patients Around the World? (NPR)

A new study looks at patient records for a variety of cancers from 71 countries. Some of the data is encouraging — and some is discouraging.

She championed the idea that freezing your eggs would free your career. But things didn’t quite work out. (Washington Post)

In an age when egg freezing has become so popular, there’s surprisingly little discussion about what happens years later when women try to use them…. / But the math doesn’t always hold up. On average, a woman freezing 10 eggs at age 36 has a 30 to 60 percent chance of having a baby with them, according to published studies. 

Health Stocks Drop After Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway And JPMorgan Chase Announcement (NPR)

Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway are launching an effort to make health care simpler and cheaper for their own workers. The announcement sent health company stock prices lower.

Why Males Are Biology's Riskier Sex (NPR)

New data clearly show that, when it comes to inherited defects, fathers actually carry greater risks than mothers. Random changes in DNA — mutations — accumulate four times faster in sperms than in eggs.


Tech firms let Russia probe software widely used by U.S. government (Reuters)

Major global technology providers SAP, Symantec and McAfee have allowed Russian authorities to hunt for vulnerabilities in software deeply embedded across the U.S. government, a Reuters investigation has found. The practice potentially jeopardizes the security of computer networks in at least a dozen federal agencies, U.S. lawmakers and security experts said. It involves more companies and a broader swath of the government than previously reported.

Net neutrality rules are gone, but where's the outrage? Burger King found it (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The Burger King reminds the internet that the debate over net neutrality is far from over.

Sound waves ‘can help’ early tsunami detection (BBC)

People in high-risk tsunami areas could soon be helped by an early-warning alarm system using sound waves that is being developed by scientists.

New Fossil Found in Israel Suggests a Much Earlier Human Migration Out of Africa (NPR)

Scientists have discovered a part of a fossilized human skull that's around 180,000 years old. It is now the oldest human fossil outside Africa.

Chinese scientists break key barrier by cloning monkeys (Reuters) 

Chinese scientists have cloned monkeys using the same technique that produced Dolly the sheep two decades ago, breaking a technical barrier that could open the door to copying humans.


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