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July 10, 2019 (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.


Federal judge in Texas strikes down affordable care act (CNN)

A federal judge in Texas said on Friday that the Affordable Care Act's individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of the law therefore cannot stand. Legal experts say the ruling won't immediately affect Americans' health coverage, and a group of states led by California is already vowing to appeal. But the invalidation of the landmark health care law popularly known as Obamacare throws into doubt the future of health coverage for millions of Americans on the Obamacare exchanges and in Medicaid expansion. 

Mental Health Patients Are Pouring Into Local Emergency Rooms (Voice of San Diego)

Emergency room visits for mental disorders have surged in San Diego County over the last decade, challenging both hospitals and patients who can be traumatized by their experiences in chaotic ERs.

Spike in autism may be linked to preservative in processed foods (Forbes)

…The study serves as an example of the importance of the food pregnant women eat, and how it may potentially affect development of the fetal brain.The study describes how elevated levels of the preservative, propionic acid (PPA)--used to extend shelf life and reduce mold in packaged foods, breads and cheeses—can adversely affect the development and differentiation of neurons in fetal brains in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The research was published June 19 in the journal, Scientific Reports.

A deadly fungus is killing millions of bats in the U.S. Now it’s in California (Los Angeles Times)

A mysterious fungus that has killed millions of bats in the eastern United States and left caves littered with their tiny carcasses has arrived in Northern California and appears poised to spread throughout the state, according to officials. 

A hospital introduced a robot to help nurses. They didn’t expect it to be so popular (Fast Company)

Moxi is a robot designed to make nurses’ lives easier. But the friendly bot is turning out to be a welcome presence for some patients, too.


A Flaw in Teleconferencing App Zoom Could Have Let Hackers Access Your Webcam. Here's How to Fix it (Time)

A series of security flaws in popular video-conferencing service Zoom left its users vulnerable to spying, denial of service attacks from unauthorized sites, and the potential installation of malware, according to a report from security... 

What to Know About Restrict, Instagram's New Anti-Bullying Feature  (Time)

Bullying is a big problem for Instagram, one that the company's head, Adam Mosseri, has vowed to take on. 

Massive, kilometer sized asteroid was just found orbing the sun (Fox)

A newly found asteroid has been spotted orbiting the Sun, whizzing past the star every 151 days, the shortest orbit of any space rock on record.

Could This Be the End of Frankincense? (New York Times)

As more uses are found for the aromatic resin, the population of trees that produce it are on the brink of collapse.