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March 7, 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.


What parents need to know about Juuling (Offspring)

One of the biggest topics right now in high school parent newsletters everywhere is the Juul. It’s a popular e-cigarette system that looks a lot like a USB flash drive—you may have seen one in your teenager’s room, figuring it contains an essay on The Great Gatsby. Based on Twitter and Instagram posts with the hashtag #doit4juul, students are “juuling” wherever, whenever—in school bathrooms, in libraries and under their desks in class.

Ticks that cause `intense infestation’ found in U.S. for first time (Business Insider)

New Jersey residents know they need to look out for ticks. The state has one of the highest concentrations of Lyme disease in the country. But one recent finding could lead Garden State residents to keep an even closer eye out for the bloodsuckers than normal. Somehow, an east Asian tick that has the ability to essentially clone itself and is a noted invasive species in other parts of the world made its way to Hunterdon County.

Saline in IVs may increase risk of death, kidney failure (AJC)

… According to the study, which was discussed at a critical care conference in San Antonio and published by the New England Journal of Medicine, switching from saline could save between 50,000 and 70,000 lives in the United States every year. Ditching the common solution could also reduce cases of kidney failure by 100,000.

Patients Like Hospital Care at Home, But Some Insurers Are Skeptical (NPR)

Some health systems are encouraging selected emergency room patients who are sick but stable and don't need intensive, round-the-clock care to opt for hospital-level care at home, instead

Test for Breast Cancer Gene Will Be Available in Weeks (NPR)

The FDA approved the first test that people can get without a doctor to see if they carry a genetic mutation that increases their risk for cancer. The test looks for three mutations.


Phytoplankton population drops 40% since 1950 (Scientific American)

Researchers find trouble among phytoplankton, the base of the food chain, which has implications for the marine food web and the world's carbon cycle

North Pole surges above freezing in the dead of winter, stunning scientists (Washington Post)

The sun won’t rise at the North Pole until March 20, and it’s normally close to the coldest time of year, but an extraordinary and possibly historic thaw swelled over the tip of the planet this weekend. Analyses show that the temperature warmed to the melting point as an enormous storm pumped an intense pulse of heat through the Greenland Sea. Temperatures may have soared as high as 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) at the pole, according to the U.S. Global Forecast System model.

World’s first plastic-free supermarket aisle opens in Netherlands (BBC)

The world’s first plastic-free aisle has been launched by the Dutch chain Ekoplaza in Amsterdam. Campaigners are calling for UK shops to follow the Dutch chain where 700 products will be available without plastic packaging.

Signals detected from ‘cosmic dawn’ (BBC)

Scientists say they have observed a signature on the sky from the very first stars to shine in the Universe.

21 Tech Companies Band Together Against Wildlife Trafficking (NPR)

The effort involves tech leaders such as Alibaba, Baidu, eBay, Facebook and Instagram who have pledged to try to reduce trafficking across their platforms by 80 percent by 2020.

Ex-Google Recruiter Sues, Alleging Policies Discriminate Against White and Asian Men (NPR)

The lawsuit alleges the company pressured employees to "purge" eligible candidates from applicant pools in favor of Hispanic, African-American and female job seekers.