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July 18, 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.


As lawyers zero in on drug firms, a reckoning may be coming (Washington Post)

Nearly 2,000 communities hurt by the opioid crisis are suing drug companies for staggering sums to cover the costs of treatment, education and law enforcement.

Joe Biden unveils  his alternative to “Medicare for All” (Los Angeles Times)

Joe Biden unveiled a robust plan to expand Obamacare by adding a public program that all Americans could choose, as the former vice president argued Monday that medical insurance can be made universally accessible without scrapping the nation’s current model of delivering healthcare. The Biden plan would provide tens of billions of dollars in new healthcare spending in a bid to lower the out-of-pocket costs that families face for healthcare, make Medicare-style coverage available to any American who wants it and significantly expand tax credits to help people pay for insurance. He would pay for that primarily by raising capital gains taxes on those earning more than $1 million…

Ebola outbreak in Congo is a public health emergency of international concern, WHO says (CNN)

The ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo now constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, the World Health Organization announced on Wednesday.

Good gut bacteria helps starving children (BBC)

A diet rich in bananas, chickpeas and peanuts improves gut bacteria in malnourished children, helping kick-start their growth, research suggests.These foods were found to be particularly good at boosting healthy microbes, in a US study of children in Bangladesh. The growth of bones, brains and bodies is then more likely. The World Health Organization said about 150 million children under five around the world were malnourished.


FaceApp went viral with age-defying photos. Now Democratic leaders are warning campaigns to delete the Russian-created app ‘immediately’ (Washington Post)

Drake, LeBron James, the Jonas Brothers and other celebrities have helped extend the future-self craze on social media. Now the Democratic Party's security chief is telling campaigns "this novelty is not without risk: FaceApp was developed by Russians."

You downloaded FaceApp. Here’s what you’ve just done to your privacy. (Washington Post) 

5 questions we all should have asked before we downloaded the latest viral app that ages your face. 

AT&T will soon block annoying robocalls (NBC 7)

AT&T's service is the first that will be on by default, instead of requiring users to opt in or download a separate app

Facebook Hit With $5 Billion Privacy Settlement (Time)

… It caps a probe that opened in March 2018 after news that Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm hired by President Donald Trump’s campaign, obtained user data from a researcher who created a personality quiz app on the social network. The FTC’s settlement, the largest privacy fine in the agency’s history, marks the most significant action yet against Facebook over a series of mishaps that have compromised users’ data…

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