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September 2, 2023, 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.


Long COVID Recovery Remains Rare. Doctors Are Struggling to Understand Why (Time)

Zeroing in on the Long COVID recovery rate is a work in progress, but two recent reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest remission is possible.

Medicare names first 10 drugs up for price negotiations with the government (NBC)

Popular — and pricey — blood thinners and diabetes drugs are on the list.

U.S. health agency recommends easing federal restrictions on marijuana (NBC)

The Department of Health and Human Services says marijuana should no longer be classified in the same category as drugs like heroin and LSD.

COVID-19 Hospitalizations and Deaths on the Rise (WebMD)

COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 19% last week and COVID deaths by 21%, according to figures from the CDC. More than half the states, 26, had a “substantial increase” in hospital admissions.

Highways are the next antiabortion target. One Texas town is resisting. (Washington Post)

A new ordinance, passed in several jurisdictions and under consideration elsewhere, aims to stop people from using local roads to drive someone out of state for an abortion   Antiabortion advocates behind the measure are targeting regions along interstates and in areas with airports, with the goal of blocking off the main arteries out of Texas and keeping pregnant women hemmed within the confines of their antiabortion state. These provisions have already passed in two counties and two cities, creating legal risk for those traveling on major highways… Several more jurisdictions are expected to vote on the measure in the coming weeks.

Diabetes drug Ozempic and weight-loss drug Wegovy seem to curb other cravings  (NPR)

Patients taking diabetes drug Ozempic or the weight-loss drug Wegovy are reporting a curious, beneficial side effect. The drugs seem to reduce people's cravings for alcohol, nicotine and even opioids.


India lands a spacecraft near the moon's south pole, a first for the world as it joins elite club (AP)

India on Wednesday made history as it became the first country in the world to land a spacecraft near the moon’s south pole, an uncharted territory that scientists believe could hold vital reserves of frozen water, and the fourth country to achieve a moon landing. 

What to know about Japan releasing Fukushima water into the ocean  (NPR)

A review by the UN's nuclear watchdog says that the discharge will have a negligible radiological impact to people and the environment, but some nations remain concerned. Here's what the Japanese government is doing, and why.

Meta takes down large Chinese and Russian influence operations  (NPR)

Facebook parent Meta says Chinese law enforcement is behind the largest covert online influence operation the company has ever disrupted. The operation spread pro-China messages and attacked critics of Beijing's policies, using a sprawling network of fake accounts across more than 50 websites, from Facebook and Instagram to YouTube, Twitter (now known as X), TikTok, Reddit, and dozens of smaller platforms and forums.

NASA releases first U.S. pollution map images from new instrument launched to space: "Game-changing data"  (MSN)

NASA has released the first data maps from a new instrument monitoring air pollution from space. The visualizations show high levels of major pollutants like nitrogen dioxide — a reactive chemical usually produced when fossil fuels are burned for transportation, power generation and other industrial activities, as well as wildfires — in the atmosphere over parts of North America.

An 'ancestral bottleneck' took out nearly 99 percent of the human population 800,000 years ago (PopScience)

A team of scientists from the United States, Italy, and China may have finally explained a large gap in the African and Eurasian fossil record….They estimate that there were only 1,280 breeding individuals alive during this transition between the early and middle Pleistocene. About 98.7 percent of the ancestral population was lost at the beginning of this ancestral bottleneck that lasted for roughly 117,000 years, according to the study.



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