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December 13, 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.


Investigation of generic ‘cartel’ expands to 300 drugs (Washington Post)

Executives at more than a dozen generic-drug companies had a form of shorthand to describe how they conducted business...The “sandbox,” according to investigators, was the market for generic prescription drugs…“Fair share” described dividing up the sales pie to ensure that each company reaped continued profits. “Trashing the market” was used when a competitor ignored these unwritten rules and sold drugs for less than agreed-upon prices." … Officials from multiple states say these practices were central to illegal price-fixing schemes of massive proportion.  

U.S. top court, Kavanaugh spurn Planned Parenthood defunding case (Reuters)

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected appeals by Louisiana and Kansas seeking to end their public funding to women's healthcare and abortion provider Planned Parenthood through the Medicaid program, with President Donald Trump's appointee Brett Kavanaugh among the justices who rebuffed the states.  

Emergency allergy shots less effective after heat exposure (Reuters Health)

 The medicine in emergency allergy shots like the EpiPen can deteriorate when exposed to heat, so don't leave them in the car on a hot day, researchers warn.

Treatment for Epstein-Barr Virus May Help People With Multiple Sclerosis    (Healthline)

Researchers say the new immunotherapy can help bolster T cells that can then help relieve MS symptoms.

Careful use of neti pot advised after woman contracts rare but fatal brain infection (NBC News)

A report this week about a Seattle woman who died from a brain-eating amoeba after using a neti pot has users of the nasal irrigation device worried. …The 69-year-old woman, who had a chronic sinus infection, used tap water filtered by a Brita water purifier, according to a report published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases. “Fortunately, these amoebic infections are quite rare, but we have documented that some have occurred due to use of tap water in neti pots," Dr. Jennifer Cope, a medical epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NBC News…


NASA’s Voyager 2 Enters Interstellar Space  (NASA on YouTube)

Forty-one years after it launched into space, NASA’s Voyager 2 probe has exited our solar bubble and entered the region between stars. Its twin, Voyager 1, made this historic crossing in 2012. Edward Stone, the Voyager mission’s project scientist, and Suzanne Dodd, the mission project manager, discuss this major milestone and what’s to come for the trailblazing probe.

Trump plan to reclassify nuke waste alarms environmentalists (Associated Press)

The Trump administration wants to reclassify some radioactive waste left from the production of nuclear weapons to lower its threat level and make disposal cheaper and easier.

Google reveals new security bug affecting more than 52 million users (Washington Post)

Google revealed Monday that its soon-to-be shuttered social network suffered from another security lapse, a software bug that could have allowed third-party apps and developers to gain access to 52 million users' personal information without their permission.

Facebook offered advertisers special access to users’ data, documents show (The Washington Post)

A key British lawmaker alleged Wednesday that Facebook maintained “whitelisting agreements” that gave select companies preferential access to valuable data on users without their consent, echoing a key claim from an app developer that has been embroiled in a lawsuit with the social network in a California court.

Top U.S. general urges Google to work with military (Reuters)

 The top U.S. general said on Thursday that it was "inexplicable" that technology giants like Alphabet Inc's Google did not want to work with the Pentagon even as they seek out business with China, where companies have less freedom than in the United States.