HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

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January 30, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.

HEALTH

SCIENCE & TECH

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

HEALTH

We may finally know what causes Alzheimer’s – and how to stop it  (New Scientist)

Compelling evidence that the condition is caused by a bacterium involved in gum disease could prove a game-changer in tackling one of medicine’s biggest mysteries, and lead to effective treatments or even a vaccine.

More young Californians dying of flu than in years past (Los Angeles Times)

As flu illnesses began sweeping across the nation in the last few weeks, health officials maintained that this year’s influenza season would most likely be milder than last year’s — but new data show the number of deaths linked to the flu is higher than in previous years.

Harris backs 'Medicare-for-all' and eliminating private insurance as we know it (CNN)

California Sen. Kamala Harris fully embraced "Medicare-for-all" single payer health insurance at a CNN town hall Monday and said she's willing to end private insurance to make it happen.

There's Arsenic And Lead In Many Brands Of Fruit Juice. Should You Be Concerned? (NPR)

The consumer-advocacy organization Consumer Reports tested 45 fruit juices, including apple, grape and juice blends, and found that 21 of them had "concerning levels" of cadmium, arsenic and/or lead, according to a new report. Juice samples came from 24 national and private-label brands.  For instance, two Welch's products contained levels of lead that exceed the standard for bottled water set by the Food and Drug Administration. And a sample of Trader Joe's Fresh Pressed Apple Juice exceeded a 10 parts-per-billion threshold for arsenic that has been recommended as an allowable level.

2018 was second worst year for measles cases in more than two decades (CNN)

Experts fear that measles, declared eliminated in 2000, is here to stay and getting worse, and they point a finger at the anti-vaxxers. 

Washington State Officials Declare State Of Emergency As Measles Outbreak Continues (NPR)

Health officials in Washington have declared a state of emergency and are urging immunization as they scramble to contain a measles outbreak in two counties, while the number of cases of the potentially deadly virus continues to climb in a region with lower-than-normal vaccination rates.

Survey Finds Higher Risk Of Stroke Among E-Cigarette Users (NPR)

New findings about the health effects of e-cigarettes add to a small but growing body of research that undercuts the widely presumed safety of the alternative to conventional cigarettes.

FDA identifies contamination source in blood pressure medications used by millions (Washington Post)

Federal regulators say they’ve identified the source of the cancer-causing impurities that have tainted millions of bottles of commonly used generic blood pressure and heart failure medications recalled by drugmakers over the last seven months. The carcinogens are a chemical byproduct of the process used to synthesize the active ingredient in the drugs, which include valsartan, losartan and irbesartan.

SCIENCE & TECH

Amazon facial-identification software used by police falls short on tests for accuracy and bias (Washington Post)

Technology Amazon facial-identification software used by police falls short on tests for accuracy and bias, new research finds

Russia tries to force Facebook and Twitter to relocate servers to Russia (Ars Technica)

Companies allegedly didn't follow law requiring user data to be stored in Russia. 

To Keep African Swine Fever Out, Denmark Is Planning A Southern Boar(der) Fence (NPR)

As U.S. politicians continue to spar over the idea of building a border wall, Denmark is preparing its own controversial southern border-control barrier. The target is wild boars — specifically, wild boars from Germany. But environmentalists warn the planned 5 ft.-high, 40-mile fence will harm the region's wildlife and may not even serve the function for which it's intended.