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July 18, 2022 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.



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Biden administration says federal law preempts state abortion bans when emergency care is needed (CNN)

…the Biden administration said that federal law preempts state abortion bans when emergency care is needed and that the federal government can penalize institutions or providers that fail to provide abortions as needed to treat medical emergencies… "Under the law, no matter where you live, women have the right to emergency care -- including abortion care," HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a news release … a federal statute called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act protects providers' clinical judgment and the actions they take to provide stabilizing treatment to pregnant patients who are under emergency medical conditions, regardless of restrictions in any given state. The act has been on the books since 1986…Becerra said that if a state law bans abortion and does not include an exception for the life or health of the pregnant person, that law is preempted by the federal statute….If a hospital is found to be in violation of the statute, it could lose its Medicare and Medicaid provider agreements and could face civil penalties. An individual physician could also face civil penalties

Inside the Groundbreaking Tech Helping Paralyzed Patients Feel Again (Wall Street Journal)

Brain computer interfaces and brain implants are two devices helping patients restore touch.

Drugmaker seeks approval for first nonprescription birth control pill in U.S. (Washington Post)

A French drugmaker on Monday asked for permission to sell daily birth control pills over the counter for the first time in the United States, handing federal regulators a major reproductive health issue just as the Biden administration struggles to respond to the Supreme Court decision striking down the constitutional right to abortion.

Undercounted Covid-19 cases leave US with a blind spot as BA.5 variant becomes dominant  (CNN)

Official Covid-19 case metrics severely undercount the true number of infections, leaving the United States with a critical blind spot as the most transmissible coronavirus variant yet takes hold.…as people increasingly rely on rapid at-home tests – and as attitudes toward the pandemic shift overall – the US hasn’t landed on a reliable way to track transmission levels.

Multipronged vaccine protects against COVID virus family members — even some still in hiding (Los Angeles Times)

… A new type of vaccine developed at Caltech aims to ward off novel coronaviruses even before health officials are aware that they exist. When tested in mice and monkeys, it trained the animals’ immune systems to recognize eight viruses at once — and induced immunity to viruses they had never encountered. The findings, published Tuesday in the journal Science, could lead to a powerful tool against a virus that mutates too quickly to be contained with current vaccines. An international vaccine foundation has pledged $30 million to begin clinical trials of the experimental vaccine in humans.

Conservative blocs unleash legal action to curb public health powers (NPR) 

Through a wave of pandemic-related litigation, a trio of small but mighty conservative legal blocs has rolled back public health authority at the local, state and federal levels, recasting America's future battles against infectious diseases.

As many try to return to normal, disabled people face a different reality (NPR)

Safety precautions have been rescinded as many try to to return to a sense of pre-pandemic normalcy. But the reality of disabled and immunocompromised people remains forgotten, causing them to feel left behind and further pushed out of society, disability advocates say.


Elon Musk Backs Out Of Twitter Deal (Patch)

The Tesla and SpaceX mogul billionaire has moved to terminate his $44B bid to buy Twitter.

James Webb telescope takes super sharp view of early cosmos (BBC)

The first full-colour picture from the new James Webb Space Telescope has been released - and it doesn't disappoint. The image is said to be the deepest, most detailed infrared view of the Universe to date, containing the light from galaxies that has taken many billions of years to reach us.

‘Everything’ in app popular with US troops is ‘seen in China,’ new report says (Task and Purpose)

Data “was accessed far more frequently and recently than previously reported,” according to the BuzzFeed report, which suggests that TikTok may “have misled lawmakers, its users, and the public.” … Concerns about how TikTok stores data are nothing new, particularly in regards to national security and members of the military who use the app. .critics fear that through TikTok’s connections to China, U.S. user …could be accessed by the Chinese government ….

After 40 years of extinction, rhinos return to Mozambique (Reuters)

Over four decades after they became extinct locally, rhinos are roaming again the wilds of Mozambique, which is bringing the endangered species from South Africa in efforts to breathe new life into its parks and boost local tourism. A group of rangers captured, sedated and moved black and white rhinos over 1,000 miles (1,610 km) to Mozambique's Zinave National Park, which has over 400,000 hectares and more than 2,300 other reintroduced animals.

As weather disasters increase, deaths from them have actually fallen (NPR)

The World Meteorological Organization says that the number of disasters has increased five times over the past 50 years, but the number of fatalities has fallen by two-thirds.

After many years, New England cod seems to be rebounding from overfishing (NPR)

Atlantic cod, a fish that was foundational to New England's economy, is being caught at historically low levels. But a research scientist says cod is in the early stages of a comeback.

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