HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

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February 7, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.

HEALTH

SCIENCE

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

HEALTH

US children will 'hopefully' get vaccines in late spring or early summer, says Fauci (Guardian)

Covid-19 vaccines not yet approved for children, but they are a key step in pursuit of widespread immunity…The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine received emergency approval for use in people 16 and older. The next step, Fauci said, involves testing in children down to 12. If successful it will be followed by another round of testing, down to nine years old.

The Differences Between the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus Vaccines Explained (KQED)

In an ideal world, a pandemic vaccine could be delivered in a single shot, so supplies could be stretched to cover a lot of people. It would trigger no side effect more significant than a sore arm. And it would be easy to ship and store. Soon, it seems, this ideal of a COVID-19 vaccine will be within reach.

Sociopathic traits linked to not wearing a mask or social distancing during pandemic: study (CNBC)

… A recent study out of Brazil may shed some light on why some people are so resistant to wearing masks…people who reported “antisocial traits,” such as low levels of empathy and high levels of callousness and risk-taking, were less-likely to comply with Covid-19 prevention measures, such as wearing a mask and social distancing…“antisocial” refers to traits that are typically present in people diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, which is defined as “a chronic and pervasive disposition to disregard and violate the rights of others,” according to the American Psychological Association….the disorder is also referred to as “dyssocial personality, psychopathic  personality and sociopathic personality.” Antisocial personality disorder occurs in about 1% of the U.S. population, and is more common in men. 

J&J files COVID-19 vaccine application with U.S. FDA (Reuters)



Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday it has asked U.S. health regulators to authorize its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, and it will apply to European authorities in coming weeks.

The drugmaker’s application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) follows its Jan. 29 report in which it said the vaccine had a 66% rate of preventing infections in its large global trial…J&J’s main study goal was the prevention of moderate to severe COVID-19, and the vaccine was 85% effective in stopping severe disease and preventing hospitalization across all geographies and against multiple variants 28 days after immunization.

5 Hacks And Tips To Make Your Face Mask More Protective (NPR)

It's time to up your mask game. With new, more contagious strains of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S., and transmission levels still very high in many places, some public health experts recommend that Americans upgrade from the basic cloth masks that many have been wearing during the pandemic.

Trump White House donated 8,700 ventilators to other nations. Officials now don’t know where many of them are, watchdog finds. (Washington Post)

The Trump administration spent $200 million to send more than 8,700 ventilators to countries around the world last year, with no clear criteria for determining who should get them and no way to keep track of where many ended up, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

South African scientists discover new chemicals that kill malaria parasite (Reuters)



South African scientists have discovered chemical compounds that could potentially be used for a new line of drugs to treat malaria and even kill the parasite in its infectious stage, which most available drugs do not.

While COVID is raging, flue cases remain unusually low (Healthline)

The uncharacteristically low levels of flu observed across the country can likely be attributed to the mitigation measures used for COVID-19, said Dr. Scott Kaiser, a board-certified family medicine physician and geriatrician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. “Wearing a mask, physical distancing, and washing hands are not only critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19, but protect against the spread of flu as well,” Kaiser said.

Gut bacteria tied to disease severity, immune response; high mental health toll seen in ICUs )Reuters)



The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

Hackers leak "manipulated" Covid-19 vaccine data to undermine public trust (Techspoit)

The documents relate to the BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Three Most Dangerous Underlying Conditions for COVID-19 (AARP)

These chronic health problems worry doctors the most when it comes to the coronavirus

In pandemic, more people choose to die at home (AP)

… Across the country, terminally ill patients — both with COVID-19 and other diseases — are making similar decisions and dying at home rather than face the terrifying scenario of saying farewell to loved ones behind glass or during video calls.

SCIENCE

As Jeff Bezos steps down, Amazon stakes its future on the cloud (CNN)

In his 2014 annual letter to shareholders, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wrote that a "dreamy business offering" comprises at least four elements: "Customers love it, it can grow to very large size, it has strong returns on capital, and it's durable in time — with the potential to endure for decades."

Exclusive: Suspected Chinese hackers used SolarWinds bug to spy on U.S. payroll agency – sources (Reuters)



The software flaw exploited by the suspected Chinese group is separate from the one the United States has accused Russian government operatives of using to compromise up to 18,000 SolarWinds customers, including sensitive federal agencies....

Fast-Growing Alternative To Facebook And Twitter Finds Post-Trump Surge 'Messy' (NPR)

The alternative social network MeWe had 12 million users at the end of 2020. Barely three weeks into 2021 — and two since a right-wing mob attacked the U.S. Capitol — the company says it's now passed 16 million. CEO Mark Weinstein says this popularity is a testament to the reason he launched MeWe in 2016 as an alternative to Facebook. MeWe markets itself as privacy forward. It doesn't harness users' data to sell ads or decide what content to show them.