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October 12, 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.


Paxlovid may reduce the chance of long Covid. Why don’t doctors prescribe it more? (NBC)

Experts who study and treat long Covid agree that Paxlovid seems to lower the risk of lingering symptoms. Some long Covid patients regret not taking it.

A gene variant raises the risk of Parkinson's for some people of African descent (NPR)

A team that included scientists from Lagos, London and the U.S. found a previously unknown gene variant that can nearly quadruple the risk of Parkinson's for people of African ancestry. The finding, published in August in The Lancet Neurology, suggests that Parkinson's may work differently in people of African, rather than European, descent. It could eventually help scientists develop a treatment specifically for people with this particular gene variant.

A reproduction revolution is on the horizon: vitro gametogenesis or IVG  (NPR)

Scientists in Japan are at the forefront of one the most controversial areas of biomedical research: creating sperm and eggs in the laboratory from practically any cell in the body.

It’s one of the world’s toughest anti-smoking laws: The Maori see a major flaw (NPR)

…Last December, in an all-hands-on-deck effort to get Māori across the 2025 finish line, New Zealand passed one of the strongest anti-tobacco laws in global history. Specifically, the legislation limits the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels and reduces the number of retailers allowed to sell cigarettes from 600 currently to 60 by July 2024. Most remarkably, the law bans the next generation of New Zealanders — anyone born after 2008 or currently 14 years old or younger — from ever buying cigarettes in the country.



Chipmaker Qualcomm to lay off over 1200 California workers (CNN)

Qualcomm, one of the largest microchip manufacturers globally, is scaling back its workforce.  The San Diego, California-based company will be laying off about 1258 roles in California, according to a filing with the California Employment Development Department. Impacted employees include those based out of San Diego and Santa Clara in multiple roles, from engineers to legal counsel to human resources, with job reductions coming around December 13th.

EU launches probe into disinformation campaigns as X says ‘hundreds’ of Hamas-affiliated accounts removed (CNN)

X says it has removed “hundreds of Hamas-affiliated accounts” and taken down thousands of posts since the attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group, even as the European Commission formally opened an investigation into X after a previous warning about disinformation and illegal content on its platform linked to the Israel-Hamas war. The platform, formerly known as Twitter, was given 24 hours by the European Union earlier this week to address illegal content and disinformation regarding the conflict or face penalties under the bloc’s recently enacted Digital Services Act.

To cheers, NASA asteroid sample capsule safely touches down in Utah (NPR)

After traveling billions of miles for seven years to touch an asteroid and bring a sample home, NASA's Osiris-REx mission has finally delivered a precious sample to Earth.





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