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October 24, 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.


CDC Probes More Cases of Polio-Like Syndrome AFM (NBC 7)

Federal health officials now have reports of 155 possible cases of acute flaccid myelitis, a polio-like syndrome that mostly affects children and that causes muscle weakness and paralysis. The CDC urges parents to get kids to an emergency room quickly if a child has the following symptoms: difficulty moving the eyes or drooping eyelids, facial droop or weakness, difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech, or sudden arm or leg weakness.

Trump administration takes another step to allow health plans that don't cover preexisting conditions (Los Angeles Times)

The Trump administration Monday took new steps to broaden the availability of health plans that don’t have to cover patients’ preexisting medical conditions, signaling that the federal government would support state proposals to promote more sales of these skimpier plans.

Microplastics Are Turning Up Everywhere, Even in Human Excrement (NPR)

Microplastics have been found in human stool samples from countries in many parts of the world, according to a small pilot study being presented this week at the 26th annual United European Gastroenterology conference in Vienna….  The concern, says Schwabl, is whether microplastics might be "entering the blood stream, lymphatic system and ... even reach the liver."

Want to Keep Your Brain Sharp? Take Care of Your Eyes and Ears  (NPR)

The rate of cognitive decline was slowed by 75 percent following the adoption of hearing aids

Measles outbreak raging in Europe could be brought to U.S., doctors warn (NBC News)

 A raging measles outbreak in Europe may be a warning sign of what could occur in the U.S. if something doesn’t change soon, experts say. So far this year, there have been 41,000 cases in Europe and 40 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. The European experience may offer a window on how quickly things can go awry when parents choose not to vaccinate their children, doctors caution.

Not exercising worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease, study reveals (CNN)

Being unfit should be treated as a disease that has a prescription, called exercise, the study's author said.

Tech breakthrough offers early warning system for heart attacks (Reuters)

 A new method of analyzing images from CT scans can predict which patients are at risk of a heart attack years before it occurs, researchers say.


SDSU researchers find unbelievable benefits to black widow spider silk (10 News)

For over a decade, SDSU associate professor of chemistry Gregory Holland has been researching spiders and particularly black widow’s silk. They’ve come to the realization, through their research, that the properties of black widow silk are stronger than steel and tougher than the Kevlar in bulletproof vests.

Carrots could be key to making greener buildings, say researchers (Reuters)

 Crunchy and tasty, yes, but could carrots also strengthen cement and cut carbon dioxide emissions for the building industry?

In North Carolina, hurricanes did what scientists could not: Convince Republicans that climate change is real (Washington Post)

It took a giant laurel oak puncturing her roof during Hurricane Florence last month for Margie White to consider that perhaps there was some truth to all the alarm bells over global warming…While President Trump continued this week to deny the effects of climate change in the face of overwhelming scientific agreement that it is occurring — most recently noted in a landmark United Nations report that he has dismissed — a discernible shift appears to be occurring among Republican voters in North Carolina, a state pummeled by two hurricanes in two years.

China plans to launch "artificial moon" over city (CBS)

CBS News - Who needs streetlights when you have moonlight – man-made moonlight, that is.

Tiny pieces of plastic found in 90% of table salt (National Geographic)

National Geographic - A new study looked at sea, rock, and lake salt sold around the world.