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August 27, 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.


A New Alzheimer's Blood Test Proved 94% Accurate in Finding Brain Changes Related to the Disease (Time)

A blood-based test could identify Alzheimer’s disease earlier, which could give patients a better chance of slowing or eventually preventing the brain disease.

 Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay Oklahoma $572 million in opioid trial (Health News) 

An Oklahoma judge has ruled that drugmaker Johnson & Johnson helped ignite the state's opioid crisis by deceptively marketing painkillers, and must pay $572 million to the state. Oklahoma sought $17.5 billion, blaming Johnson & Johnson for fueling the crisis that has claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people in the state. It's the first ruling to hold a pharmaceutical company responsible for one of the worst drug epidemics in American history.

What drinking from plastic water bottles does to your body (Business Insider)

You're drinking plastic, I'm drinking plastic, we're all drinking plastic. Bottled water drinkers may be drinking the most plastic of all. A 2018 study released by Orb Media estimated that on average, a liter of bottled water from big brands like Dasani, Aquafina, and Nestle, contains roughly 10.4 plastic particles.

Chemical or Mineral Sunscreen? What To Know About Current Sunscreen Research (NPR)

…Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration raised concerns about chemicals commonly found in sunscreen, noting that they can enter the bloodstream at levels significantly higher than the current FDA threshold for safety testing. And it's unknown whether there are any harmful health effects. So the agency has asked sunscreen manufacturers to complete safety studies by this November. The FDA noted that only two of the 16 active ingredients commonly used in commercial sunscreens — the mineral sunblocks, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide — are "generally recognized as safe and effective."

The U.S. is throwing away at least 3,500 donated kidneys every year, study finds (CNN)

There are 93,000 people in the US on a waiting list for a donated kidney and yet at least 3,500 donated kidneys are thrown way each year a new study finds in Monday's edition of JAMA.


Can we survive extreme heat? (Rolling Stone)

Humans have never lived on a planet this hot, and we’re totally unprepared for what’s to come.

Nuclear weapons and hurricanes don’t mix, NOAA advises (BBC News)

Using nuclear weapons to destroy hurricanes is not a good idea, a US scientific agency has said, following reports that President Donald Trump wanted to explore the option.  The Axios news website said Mr Trump had asked several national security officials about the possibility The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the results would be "devastating".

Sharks and rays to be given new international protection (BBC News)

Countries have agreed to strengthen protections for 18 threatened species of sharks and rays, including those hunted for their meat and fins.

Staten Island sea wall: designing for climate change (CNN)

By 2025, New York's Staten Island will be fortified by a towering seawall running 5.3 miles along the coast, an engineering feat designed to ward off a growing threat. The climate crisis is predicted to create more powerful and extreme weather systems all over the world, and coastal engineers are racing to respond with structures to reduce their impact…A recent report by the Center for Climate Integrity estimated it could cost the US more than $400 billion over the next 20 years to protect coastal communities.

New plastic pollution formed by fire looks like rocks (National Geographic)

Pieces of plastic that are gray, round, and resembling rocks and pebbles are hiding in plain sight on the beaches of southern England…They also contained a smorgasbord of chemical additives, but the one that jumped out at the researchers most was lead …

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