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February 27, 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.


Deaths Linked to Anti-Anxiety Drugs Rise, But Fly Under the Radar (KPBS)

The anti-anxiety drugs Valium and Xanax are among the most widely prescribed medications in the country. And doctors say they can be dangerous.

WHO warns of soaring rates of measles in Europe (BBC)

There was a four-fold increase in cases in 2017 compared with the previous year…. Fifteen European region countries, including the UK, had large outbreaks. Measles cases were highest in Romania, Italy and Ukraine…. The main reason behind the sharp rise in measles cases is low immunisation coverage, the WHO says.

Twenty U.S. states sue federal government seeking end to Obamacare (Reuters)

 A coalition of 20 U.S. states sued the federal government on Monday over Obamacare, claiming the law was no longer constitutional after the repeal last year of its requirement that people have health insurance or pay a fine.

Serious eye diseases accurately diagnosed through artificial intelligence (San Diego Union-Tribune)

UC San Diego researchers have developed an artificial intelligence system to quickly and accurately screen patients with potentially blinding retinal diseases to see if urgent treatment is needed.

Cancer therapy poised for rapid advances, noted researcher says (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The remarkable cancer treatment that uses a patient’s own immune cells to treat their cancer has saved a growing number of people who were close to death. But sometimes this treatment, known as CAR T cell therapy, fails, and that has perplexed researchers.

Can alcohol really help you live longer? Here’s what the research says (Time)

New research, which was presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual conference, has found that moderate drinking is linked to a longer life. Drinking about two glasses of wine or beer a day was linked to an 18% drop in a person’s risk of early death—an even stronger effect than the life-preserving practice of exercise, according to the researchers.


What happens if earth gets 2 degrees Celsius warmer? (Popular Science)

…Over the last 20 years, that two-degree threshold has been referenced in policies and agreements made by the Council of the European Union, the G8 (now the G7), and more. So what makes two degrees so important?

White nationalist Jared Taylor sues Twitter over ban (BBC)

White nationalist Jared Taylor is suing Twitter after the social network banned his account as part of a crackdown on abusive content.

'Big data' predictions spur detentions in China's Xinjiang: Human Rights Watch (Reuters)

Chinese authorities in the far western region of Xinjiang are detaining suspects flagged by predictive software that combines data on everything from security camera footage to health and banking records, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday.

Facebook told to stop tracking in Belgium (BBC)

Facebook is ordered to stop tracking people without consent, by a court in Belgium.

Primatologist and Author: Morality Wasn’t Invented By Religion (KPBS)

Primatologist and author Frans de Waal's research shows several species of mammals exhibit morality. Capuchin monkeys he said, show an understanding of fairness. Chimpanzees show empathy.

Trunk show: Elephant genome study offers surprises (Reuters)

 The most comprehensive elephant genome study ever conducted, covering seven living and extinct species, is offering some surprises about the family tree of the world's largest land animal while also settling a debate about Africa's elephants.

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