HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

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April 11, 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 AND TECH

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

HEALTH

Countries worldwide hit new records for virus cases, deaths (AP News)

Ambulances filled with breathless patients lined up in Brazil as nations around the world set new records Thursday for COVID-19 deaths and new coronavirus infections. The disease surged even in some countries that have kept the virus in check.

Psychiatric and neurological problems are common in COVID-19’s wake, study finds (Los Angeles Times)

New research highlights COVID-19’s lingering effects on the brain, finding that in the six months after becoming ill, roughly a third of surviving patients were diagnosed with at least one neurological or psychiatric disorder. 

Can vaccines stop variants? Here’s what we know so far (NPR)

It's official: This week U.S. health authorities announced that the mutant strain of the coronavirus first identified in the United Kingdom last winter is now the predominant strain in the United States…On a reassuring note, officials said there's strong evidence all three vaccines approved for use in the U.S. — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — offer good protection against this variant, especially against severe disease. There's also similar evidence starting to accumulate when it comes to additional vaccines being used or considered by other countries.

1 in 4 Americans Don't Want A Vaccine, Putting Herd Immunity At Risk : Shots - Health News (NPR)

…A recent NPR/Marist poll found that one in four Americans said they would refuse a coronavirus vaccine outright if offered. Another 5% are "undecided" about whether they would get the shot. Although the numbers were highest for Republican men and residents of rural areas, there were still a significant number of people across all ages and demographic groups who claim they will say "no." 

Now some researchers are increasingly worried that this reticence will be enough to prevent the nation from reaching what's known as herd immunity, the point at which the coronavirus can no longer spread easily through the population and transmission peters out.

SCIENCE AND TECH

Your Local Police Department Might Have Used This Facial Recognition Tool To Surveil You. Find Out Here. (Buzzfeed)

A controversial facial recognition tool designed for policing has been quietly deployed across the country with little to no public oversight. According to reporting and data reviewed by BuzzFeed News, more than 7,000 individuals from nearly 2,000 public agencies nationwide have used Clearview AI to search through millions of Americans’ faces, looking for people, including Black Lives Matter protesters, Capitol insurrectionists, petty criminals, and their own friends and family members. Search through BuzzFeed News’ database … In San Diego County it has been accessed by Carlsbad, Chula Vista, El Cajon, Escondido, Oceanside, San Diego County DA, San Diego County probation Dept, San Diego County sheriff , San Diego PD, UCSD PD.

Ocean noise: Study to measure the oceans' 'year of quiet' (BBC)

Ocean scientists around the world are studying the "unique moment" of quiet created by the pandemic. The researchers have called their vast listening experiment: The year of the quiet ocean. "Lockdown slowed global shipping on a scale that would otherwise be impossible," explained Prof Peter Tyack from the University of St Andrews. 

Elon Musk's Neuralink 'shows monkey playing Pong with mind' (BBC)

Neuralink, Elon Musk's computer to brain interface firm, has released a video it claims shows a monkey playing the video game Pong with its mind. Its brain signals were sent wirelessly via an implanted device.The hope is that the interface could eventually allow people with neurological conditions to control phones or computers remotely.

Bezos comes out in support of increased corporate taxes (CNN)

As the White House considers raising taxes on corporations for the first time in more than 25 years, the head of one of America's largest companies is backing such a plan. Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement Tuesday that the company is "supportive of a rise in the corporate tax rate….We support the Biden Administration's focus on making bold investments in American infrastructure," Bezos said. "Both Democrats and Republicans have supported infrastructure in the past, and it's the right time to work together to make this happen.


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