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February 13, 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.


Germs in airplane cabins are bad, but it's even worse at the airport terminal (San Diego Union-Tribune)

You don’t have to be a germophobe to want to slip on rubber gloves when you enter an airplane cabin.A new study confirms once again that various surfaces in the cabin of a commercial plane have many times the amount of bacteria than an average kitchen counter. But the latest study found that surfaces...

Middle age is not too late to increase cardiac fitness, studies show (Jewish World Review)

Strong gains were seen even in people who had sedentary lifestyles

U.S. flu outbreak worsens; hospitalizations highest in nearly a decade: CDC (Reuters)

(The U.S. flu outbreak worsened over the past week as more people headed to doctors' offices and emergency rooms, with hospitalizations at the highest in nearly 10 years, U.S. health officials said on Friday.

Where do you go when you die?  The increasing signs that human consciousness remains after death   (Newsweek)

Over the last few years, though, scientists have seen repeated evidence that once you die, your brain cells take days, potentially longer, to reach the point past which they’ve degraded too far to ever be viable again. This does not mean you're not dead; you are dead. Your brain cells, however, may not be.

Blue Dye Kills Malaria Parasites — But There Is One Catch (NPR)

Methylene blue used to be an anti-malarial treatment but fell out of favor. Researchers wondered, what if it were added to a current medication?


Count marks sharp drop in Monarch butterflies wintering in California (Reuters)

 The number of monarchs wintering in California has dropped to a five-year low, despite more volunteers counting more sites in search of the orange-and-black insect that is arguably the most admired of North American butterflies….

Robots take to the slopes on sidelines of Winter Games (Reuters)

While Alpine skiers fought high winds at the Pyeongchang Games on Monday, there were no such problems for robots competing in their own "Olympics" ski challenge.

Second asteroid in a week to pass close to Earth on Friday (Reuters)  A recently discovered asteroid was due to zip within 39,000 thousand miles (64,000 km) of Earth on Friday, marking the second space rock to pass within the orbit of the moon this week, according to NASA scientists.

Cheddar Man: DNA shows early Briton had dark skin (BBC)

A cutting-edge scientific analysis shows that a Briton from 10,000 years ago had dark brown skin and blue eyes.

Artificial intelligence plays budding role in courtroom bail decisions (CS Monitor)

AI algorithms that can scour through large sets of courthouse data to search for associations and predict which people are most likely to flee or commit another crime.

Be My Eyes (Reason)

Be My Eyes is an app newly available for Android (and available for iPhone since 2015) that connects blind people to volunteers willing to help them with small tasks. It's the latest fascinating demonstration of how voluntary tech-enabled networks can solve problems.

50 Top Women in STEM (

We simply looked for the best women in their respective fields — women who have gotten where they are by simply plowing through whatever obstacles may have stood in their path. Women with a lot of innate talent, certainly, but who have also put in a great deal of extremely hard work.  In other words, what our list shows — to today’s young women and whoever else may be interested — is that it can be done.

Seattle finds Facebook in violation of city campaign finance law (Reuters)

 Seattle's election authority said on Monday that Facebook Inc is in violation of a city law that requires disclosure of who buys election ads, the first attempt of its kind to regulate U.S. political ads on the internet.

Dry, Warm Start To Winter Saps Rocky Mountain Snowpack (KPBS)

Parts of the West are currently experiencing one of the driest and warmest winters on record. Snowpack is far below normal levels in southern Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and California, leaving some to worry about this year’s water supply.


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