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November 22, 2022 (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.


Energy bills: patients prescribed heating as part of health trial (BBC)

Doctors are prescribing heating to patients with conditions that get worse in the cold as part of a health trial.  The Warm Home Prescription pilot paid to heat the homes of 28 low-income patients to avoid the cost of hospital care if they became more ill. The trial achieved such good results it is being expanded to 1,150 homes.

Omicron variants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 now dominant in U.S. (NPR) 

Two new omicron subvariants have become dominant in the United States, raising fears they could fuel yet another surge of COVID-19 infections, according to estimates released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The subvariants — called BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 -- appear to be among the most adept yet at evading immunity from vaccination and previous infection, and have now overtaken the BA.5 omicron subvariant that has dominated in the U.S. since the summer.

Devices, loud venues could cause hearing loss in 1 billion young people  (NPR)

"It is estimated that 0.67–1.35 billion adolescents and young adults worldwide could be at risk of hearing loss from exposure to unsafe listening practices," according to the study, which was published in BMJ Journal on Tuesday. 


Is this really the end of Twitter? (BBC)

The hashtag "RIPTwitter" is trending and lots of the site's users are scrambling to download their data… Staff have been leaving in their droves - half the workforce was laid off by Mr Musk one week after he completed his purchase of the platform, and many more are choosing to leave since he sent an email demanding "hardcore" working conditions and long hours from his remaining employees. Quite a few of those departing, according to their Twitter bios, are engineers, developers and coders - the people who work on the guts of what makes Twitter function. Let's take the two biggest vulnerabilities that could knock the blue bird off its perch very swiftly.


After crypto exchange FTX collapsed, Washington policymakers debate how to respond  (NPR)

After the spectacular collapse of the crypto exchange FTX, a growing chorus of people in Washington, D.C., are asking Congress for more clarity on how to regulate crypto.

To save water, Arizona farmers are growing guayule for sustainable tires (Pop Science)

The natural rubber alternative is becoming a popular drought-tolerant crop. 

Google settles location-tracking case for $392 million   (NPR)

Google has agreed to pay nearly $392 million in a settlement with 40 states…. Authorities said, since at least 2014, Google broke consumer protection laws by misleading users about when it secretly recorded their movements. It then offered the surreptitiously harvested data to digital marketers to sell advertisements, the source of nearly all of Google's revenue.

James Webb images thrill and surprise scientists  (NPR)

New baby pictures of the universe, taken by the James Webb Space Telescope, show that galaxies started forming faster and earlier than expected.






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