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July 23, 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.


FDA approves first over-the-counter birth control pill (CNN)

The US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved the birth control pill Opill to be available over-the-counter — the first nonprescription birth control pill in the United States…Opill is a “mini-pill” that uses only the hormone progestin.

Covid-19 repeatedly spread between humans and deer, study shows, raising concerns about animal reservoirs (CNN)

People spread the virus that causes Covid-19 to wild white-tailed deer in the United States more than 100 times in late 2021 and early 2022, according to a new study from the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The infection circulated widely in the deer population, and in at least three instances, researchers suspect that humans caught the virus from deer…The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention … advises that certain groups, such as hunters, take special precautions to further lower their risk.


Flavored vapes are supposed to be illegal, but they're still widely available  (NPR)

Disposable and fruit and candy flavored vapes can't be sold legally in the U.S., yet they're still readily available. Why? The answer is complex and has concerned parents wringing their hands.

Biomedical startups are racing to revolutionize the way humans reproduce  (NPR)

Companies are racing to accelerate and commercialize in-vitro gametogenesis, or IVG, which would make human eggs and sperm in the lab from any cell in the body containing anyone's DNA.

Plastic debris is smothering 92% of coral reefs examined in a new study  (NPR)

…[The] team found that it sits atop 92% of the reefs they studied, including some of the most remote and uninhabited ones.


Climate records tumble, leaving Earth in uncharted territory - scientists (BBC)

A series of climate records on temperature, ocean heat, and Antarctic sea ice have alarmed some scientists who say their speed and timing is unprecedented.

Striking SAG Actors in Disbelief Over Studios’ Dystopian AI Proposal (Rolling Stone)

During SAG-AFTRA negotiations, the studios allegedly demanded the ability to use AI on background actors for a day rate, owning their image forever

Lavish tomb in ancient Spain belonged to a woman, not a man, new research shows (AP)

When archaeologists first discovered the 5,000-year-old ornate tomb in Spain, they assumed it was for a man. It held a rock crystal dagger, ivory tusks and other lavish items. But now they’ve determined the remains are those of a woman, and all it took was two teeth.

How the FBI took down a notorious cyber crime gang without arresting a single person (Politico)

The bureau is trying to take the fight to foreign ransomware gangs, even if it means giving up on bringing some of them behind bars.





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