HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

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December 4, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news each week that could impact your health and our future.

HEALTH

SCIENCE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click read more and scroll down.

 

HEALTH

Emergency Contraceptive Pill Might Be Ineffective For Obese (NPR)

European drug regulators are warning that the emergency contraceptive called Plan B does not work in women who weigh 176 pounds or more. The warning follows a September study showing an increased number of pregnancies in women who had taken Plan B.

FDA Shuts Down 23andMe: Outrageously Banning Consumer Access to Personal Genome Information:

(Reason)

 For a couple of years, I have been warning all my friends and colleagues to purchase $99 personal genome testing from 23andMe before the Feds banned it. Well, now the Food and Drug Administration has banned it... / What the test results would actually lead patients to do is to get another test and to talk with their physicians. The FDA also cites the genotype results that indicate the sensitivity of patients to the blood-thinning medication warfarin. Again, such results would be used by patients to talk with their doctors about their treatment regimens should the time come that they need to take the drug. In fact, in 2010 the FDA actually updated its rules to recommend genetic testing to set the proper warfarin dosages for patients. / It is notable that the FDA cites not one example of a patient being harmed through the use of 23andMe's genotype screening test

UCSD scientists invent MRSA 'nanosponge' vaccine (UT San Diego)

UCSD scientists have created a MRSA vaccine using their 'nanosponge' technology.

More Children Are Being Medicated For ADHD Than Before (NPR)

The number of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has been rising since the 1990s. Now, the CDC reports that two-thirds of children with a current diagnosis are being medicated — a jump of 28 percent from 2007 to 201.... / About 11 percent of children in the United States between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with the condition at some point, CDC researchers found, compared with 7.8 percent a decade earlier.

Men and women 'wired differently'

(BBC) -- Male brains are wired front to back, with few connections bridging the two hemispheres. / In females, the connections criss-cross between left and right. / These differences might explain why men, in general, tend to be better at learning and performing a single task, like cycling or navigating, whereas women are more equipped for multitasking, say the researchers in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). 

SCIENCE

Helping Haiti, In 3-D (NPR)

An American group has come up with an unlikely solution to the lack of infrastructure in Haiti: making medical supplies using 3-D printers. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Ashley Dara from iLab Haiti, the group responsible for the program.

Moon Turnips? NASA Takes Gardening to New Heights

(NPR) -- The space agency has announced plans to grow turnips, basil and cress on the moon by 2015. The experiment could be good news for astronauts sick of their freeze-dried fare. But researchers say the real goal is to see if humans could one day live — and farm — on the moon.

700,000 year old horse found in Yukon permafrost yields oldest DNA ever recorded (Western Digs)

The frozen remains of a horse more than half a million years old have reluctantly given up their genetic secrets, providing scientists with the oldest DNA ever sequenced.

Twitter Takes Steps To Frustrate NSA, Other Government Snoops (Reason)

 Twitter announced Friday that it's joining other tech companies in implementing "perfect forward secrecy." While many online services already encrypt user comunications and other data, this form of encryption ensures that snoops—we're looking at you, National Security Agency—who break through the encryption get access to only a snippet of data, rather than everything belonging to a user.