January 9, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.
- EU bans tattoo ink chemicals that may cause cancer (The Journal – Ireland)
- Omicron and children: Pediatric hospitals in parts of U.S. filling fast (Washington Post)
- Anti-Vaxx QAnon Influencer Dies After Contracting COVID-19 (Business Insider)
- CDC warns against cruise ship travel regardless of vaccination status (NPR)
- Virus leaves antibodies that may attack healthy tissues; B cell antibodies weakened, not defeated by Omicron (Reuters)
- Studies Suggest Why Omicron Is Less Severe: It Spares the Lungs (New York Times)
- Quarantine! Isolation! What's the difference when it comes to COVID?: (NPR)
- The goal: at least 40% vaxxed in all nations by year-end. This map shows how we stand (NPR)
SCIENCE AND TECH
- Airlines have a recipe to reach zero emissions by 2050. The key ingredient: cooking oil (Los Angeles Times)
- As omicron washes over America, much of the country still isn’t using exposure notification apps (Washington Post)
For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.
EU bans tattoo ink chemicals that may cause cancer (The Journal – Ireland)
AN EU BAN on tattoo ink and permanent make-up containing chemicals feared to cause cancers or other health risks went into effect yesterday ... The prohibition covers hazardous substances such as certain azo dyes, carcinogenic aromatic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals and methanol. “The restriction covers carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic substances, chemicals prohibited in cosmetics, skin sensitisers, skin and eye irritants, metal impurities, aromatic amines and some pigments,” the European Commission said.
Omicron and children: Pediatric hospitals in parts of U.S. filling fast (Washington Post)
About 800 kids have been admitted nearly every day this week, with those in Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York hit particularly hard by the juggernaut variant.
Anti-Vaxx QAnon Influencer Dies After Contracting COVID-19 (Business Insider)
…Weldon is one of several conservative vaccine skeptics who have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic, including Phil Valentine, Marc Bernier, Doug Kuzma, and Pressley Stutts.
CDC warns against cruise ship travel regardless of vaccination status (NPR)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new advisory Thursday that travelers should avoid traveling by cruise ship, regardless of vaccination status, after a recent surge in positive COVID-19 cases onboard ships.The agency increased its travel warning for cruises to Level 4 — the highest level — following investigations of dozens of ships that have had outbreaks of the virus….”It is especially important that travelers who are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide, regardless of vaccination status," the agency added.
Virus leaves antibodies that may attack healthy tissues; B cell antibodies weakened, not defeated by Omicron (Reuters)
The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review. Months after recovering from SARS-CoV-2 infection, survivors have elevated levels of antibodies that can mistakenly attack their own organs and tissues, even if they had not been severely ill, according to new findings.
Studies Suggest Why Omicron Is Less Severe: It Spares the Lungs (New York Times)
In studies on mice and hamsters, Omicron produced less damaging infections, often limited largely to the upper airway: the nose, throat and windpipe. The variant did much less harm to the lungs, where previous variants would often cause scarring and serious breathing difficulty.
Those two pandemic-related terms were in the headlines this week as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance about what to do if exposed to or stricken with COVID – basically shortening the number of days you should keep to yourself. So why are there two terms – and what do they mean exactly?
What went wrong? At year's end, that's the question being asked about the global effort to make sure that all countries get vaccines against COVID-19…. as 2021 comes to a close, and the omicron variant spreads across the globe, the vast majority of people in lower income countries remain unvaccinated.
SCIENCE AND TECH
Earlier this month, a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Washington made a bit of aviation history, completing a 600-mile trip that the airline hopes will prove the first leg of a journey to a greener future. .. In a first, one of the two engines on the 737 Max 8 was powered exclusively by fuel made from used cooking oil and rendered waste fat from beef, pork and chicken. Refined at a Southern California plant, the fuel produces about 80% less emissions than conventional jet fuel…The Chicago carrier made the flight to showcase progress it has made toward its goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Google and Apple built a system to let people know if they've come in contact with someone who has covid-19. Many Americans still don't know it exists.