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April 25, 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.


FDA 'blitz' aimed at reducing youths' use of Juul, other e-cigarettes (CNN)

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, announced Tuesday a "blitz" on retailers for violations related to sales of Juul and other e-cigarettes to minors.  Forty warning letters were sent to brick-and-mortar retailers as a first step toward stopping underage use of e-cigarettes, the FDA said. The government agency also said it sent Juul Labs, the maker of an e-cigarette popular among teens, a request to submit documents related to product marketing and research, including information about "youth initiation and use."

Marijuana-derived drug for epilepsy gets FDA committee recommendation (CNN)

A US Food and Drug Administration advisory committee on Thursday unanimously recommended approval of an epilepsy drug that would be the first plant-derived cannabidiol medicine for prescription use in the United States. The FDA will vote in June whether to approve the drug, Epidiolex, an oral solution, for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy in a small group of patients.


Electrical defects cause Priuses to stall: Toyota may be bracing for a legal fight as safety worries grow (Los Angeles Times)

The problem, in which overheating causes damage to key electrical parts and a resulting loss of power that can leave motorists stranded, has been dogging Toyota for about seven years. But the safety issue is now growing in scope

Why are tens of thousands of Americans still driving around with explosive devices in their cars? (Washington Post)

Jewel Brangman, an academic all-American in high school, about to pursue a PhD at Stanford, had no need to know much about the rental car she drove north toward Los Angeles on a sunny September Sunday almost four years ago. Then came a relatively minor crash — she rear-ended a minivan — and her air bag exploded with a spray of razor-sharp metal shards that severed her carotid artery. Ten years after the biggest safety recall in U.S. history began, Honda says there are more than 60,000 vehicles on the nation’s roads equipped with what experts have called a “ticking time bomb” — defective air bags like the one that killed Brangman

This Start-Up Says It Wants to Fight Poverty. A Food Stamp Giant Is Blocking It. (NY Times)

…Jimmy Chen left a lucrative perch as a product manager at Facebook to found Propel, what he calls an “anti-poverty software company.” In 2016, the Brooklyn start-up released a smartphone app that lets food stamp recipients easily look up how much money was left in their accounts… Today, one million food stamp participants use Propel’s app, and the start-up has added features like links to food coupons, healthy recipes, budgeting tools and job opportunities. But in the last few months, the Propel app has been hobbled or become unavailable in many states…Behind the slowdown is a big government contractor, Conduent, which runs the food stamp networks in 25 states, including California….

AT&T and Verizon are under federal investigation for potential collusion (San Diego Union-Tribune)

The Department of Justice is investigating potential efforts by AT&T and Verizon to hamstring a technology that could someday make it easier for consumers to seamlessly switch their wireless carriers, according to three people familiar with the matter.