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April 11, 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.


Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit (New York Times)

 Long-term use of the medications is surging in the United States, according to an analysis by The Times. One reason: withdrawal symptoms that make it difficult to stop.

Vaping now an epidemic among U.S. teens (CNN)

A sharp spike in vaping and the use of e-cigarettes by students has grabbed the attention of the US Food and Drug Administration. The rapid spread of the fad was flagged in a 2016 report from the US surgeon general. It cited a 900% increase in e-cigarette use by high school students from 2011 to 2015, and the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey noted that 1.7 million high school students said they had used e-cigarettes in the previous 30 days.  For middle school students, the number was 500,000.

1 in 5 U.S. gun owners use drugs, report mental health condition (Newsweek)

More than 20 percent of gun owners in the U.S. admit to using drugs while also suffering from a mental health disorder, according to a study … one in three people self-identify as having a mental health disorder, with anxiety, mood disorders and post-traumatic stress among some of the most common conditions. Elsewhere, 33.7 percent of those taking part in the survey admit to being drug users, with nearly 17 percent of these gun owners saying they take drugs every day.

Warning over world’s hottest chili peppers (BBC)

A man who ate the world's hottest chili pepper in a chili-eating contest ended up in hospital after experiencing "thunderclap" headaches. The 34-year-old man had eaten one Carolina Reaper chili in the contest in New York State.


Facebook and Cambridge Analytica face class action lawsuit (The Guardian)

British and US lawyers have launched a joint class action against Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and two other companies for allegedly misusing the personal data of more than 71 million people. The lawsuit claims the firms obtained users’ private information from the social media network to develop “political propaganda campaigns” in the UK and the US.

Five takeaways from Zuckerberg’s testimony (The Hill)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg weathered pointed questions about data privacy and his company’s power during 10 hours of congressional testimony Tuesday and Wednesday.

Facebook to verify major page users (BBC)

Facebook will verify the identity of people running popular pages, as part of its continued efforts to stem fake news and propaganda. Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said all “large” pages would be audited - any which did not clear the process would be prevented from posting.

Uber to buy Jump, maker of electric bicycles, after ride-sharing test (New York Times)

Uber started a pilot program in San Francisco to allow its customers to reserve “pedal-assist” electric bicycles within its ride-hailing app in January. Now, Uber says it plans to buy the company behind the bike-sharing service and bring that capability to other cities around the world.

Dutch 'singing road' closed after neighbours’ complaints (BBC)

It was an idea to improve road safety: special strips on the asphalt would play a tune when cars drove over them at the correct speed. But residents of a nearby village in the Netherlands said the constant noise was driving them mad.

Earth's magnetic ocean tides mapped from space (BBC)

As the Moon pulls the salty seas through our planet's global magnetic field, electric currents are generated. And these currents then induce their own magnetic signals, which have now been mapped in exquisite detail by a trio of European space agency satellites known as Swarm.

Dozen black holes found at galactic centre (BBC)

A dozen black holes may lie at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way, researchers have said.

Space junk demo mission launches (BBC)

A UK-led experiment to tackle space junk has been sent into orbit.  It takes the form of a small satellite that will practise techniques for tracking debris and capturing it.