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March 9, 2023 (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.


Zero-calorie sweetener linked to heart attacks and stroke, study finds (CNN)

A sugar replacement called erythritol – used to add bulk or sweeten stevia, monkfruit and keto reduced-sugar products – has been linked to blood clotting, stroke, heart attack and death, according to a new study. “The degree of risk was not modest,” said lead study author Dr. Stanley Hazen…People with existing risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, were twice as likely to experience a heart attack or stroke if they had the highest levels of erythritol in their blood, according to the study, published Monday in the journal Nature Medicine.

Scam alert: Fake Medicare calls targeting recipients (10 News)

Claim you need to sign up for a new card or lose benefits.

FDA authorizes the first at-home test for COVID and the flu  (NPR)

The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization on Friday for the first at-home test that can simultaneously detect both COVID-19 and the flu. With a shallow nasal swab, the single-use kit can provide results within 30 minutes indicating whether a person is positive or negative for COVID, as well as influenza A and influenza B, which are two common strains of the flu.

How Cancer Immunotherapy Extended Jimmy Carter's Life and the Hope It Brings to Others (Healthline)

Experts say an immunotherapy known as Keytruda is a major reason former president Jimmy Carter has lived for more than 7 years after his brain cancer diagnosis. They add that Carter’s decision to publicly discuss his treatment has provided hope for thousands of people with cancer.

U.S. analysis keeps covid ‘lab leak’ theory in play (Washington Post)

A small shift in favor of the theory that covid-19 started with a lab accident in China was prompted by new data and an A-list team of weapons-lab scientists.

George W. Bush's anti-HIV program PEPFAR is hailed as 'amazing' — and still crucial at 20  (NPR)

The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, soon become a greater triumph than experts… had dared imagine. It's the largest health commitment ever made by any country, now totaling more than $100 billion in more than 50 countries. And its work continues.

No one really knows how much Covid is silently spreading… Again  (Atlantic)

More immunity and relaxed behavior add up to a new COVID mystery: How common is symptomless spread now?

Here’s an Alternative to Statins for Lowering Cholesterol  (Time)

In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, researchers report on a study testing the effectiveness of another potential alternative—bempedoic acid—to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

A promising RSV drug could soon be available for babies  (NPRR)

A new drug to prevent severe RSV infections could soon be available for young babies. Up to 80,000 young kids get hospitalized with RSV each year in the U.S.


‘Take it down’: a tool for teens to remove explicit images (10 News)

“Once you send that photo, you can't take it back,” goes the warning to teenagers, often ignoring the reality that many teens send explicit images of themselves under duress, or without understanding the consequences. A new online tool aims to give some control back to teens, or people who were once teens, and take down explicit images and videos of themselves from the internet.

No ideological splits, only worried justices as High Court hears Google case  (NPR)

At issue in the case is a 1996 law that shields internet platforms from being sued for material that appears on their sites….With the stakes in the case so high, the justices seemed both cautious and skeptical of some of the arguments made by each side, with no clear liberal-conservative ideological divide.

6 scholars explain what a real climate solution is  (KPBS)

Scientists say there's a lot we can still do to slow the speed of climate change. But when it comes to "climate solutions", some are real, and some aren't, says Naomi Oreskes, historian of science at Harvard University. "This space has become really muddied," she says. So how does someone figure out what's legit? We asked six climate scholars for the questions they ask themselves whenever they come across something claiming to be a climate solution. 






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