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March 15, 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.


Battling skin cancer with a piece of tape instead of a scalpel (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Put down the scalpel and bring out the tape. That’s the prescription from La Jolla’s DermTech, which offers skin tests for melanoma using a special adhesive tape. The genomic tests can quickly identify those who need further attention and reassure those who test negative for the cancer.

Dentists keep dying of this deadly lung disease. The CDC can’t figure out why. (Washington Post)

Seven of the patients were dead, and two more were dying of a rare chronic, progressive lung disease that can be treated but not cured.

Genes have a role in empathy, study says (BBC)

A study of 46,000 people found evidence for the first time that genes have a role in how empathetic we are.


Amazon looks at drones dropping packages on your patio from as high as 25 feet (Mercury News)

It’s not that drones get tired. It’s just that if they’re delivering your box of cat food and low-rise socks, dropping down to put them on your patio, and then flying back up for the next delivery takes power they need to conserve.

Burger flipping robot begins first shift (BBC)

Flippy, a burger-flipping robot, has begun work at a restaurant in Pasadena, Los Angeles. It is the first of dozens of locations for the system, which is destined to replace human fast-food workers.

Data breach victims can sue Yahoo in the United States: judge (Reuters)

 Yahoo has been ordered by a federal judge to face much of a lawsuit in the United States claiming that the personal information of all 3 billion users was compromised in a series of data breaches….  Yahoo was accused of being too slow to disclose three data breaches that occurred from 2013 and 2016, increasing users’ risk of identity theft and requiring them to spend money on credit freeze, monitoring and other protection services.

Can You Believe It? On Twitter, False Stories Are Shared More Widely Than True Ones (NPR)

An MIT study tracked 126,000 stories and found that false ones were 70 percent more likely to be retweeted than ones that were true. Twitter is asking outside experts to help it deal with the problem.

This Is Why You Don't See People-Size Salmon Anymore (NPR)

A study from federal researchers in November found that orcas' consumption of chinook salmon in the northeast Pacific Ocean has doubled since 1975, surpassing humans' catches, which have fallen by a third over that time.


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