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January 9, 2024 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.



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Emergency rooms not required to perform life-saving abortions, federal appeals court rules (Tribune)

The Biden administration reminded hospitals of their obligation to perform life-saving abortions under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act after the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Texas sued, arguing it was an overstep that mandated abortions. Federal regulations do not require emergency rooms to perform life-saving abortions if it would run afoul of state law, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

Medicare Advantage plans are popular, but some seniors feel trapped when ill  (NPR)

Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has grown substantially in the past few decades, enticing more than half of eligible people, primarily those 65 or older, with low premium costs and perks like dental and vision insurance. And as the private plans' share of the Medicare patient pie has ballooned to 30.8 million people, so too have concerns about the insurers' aggressive sales tactics and misleading coverage claims.

Hydroxychloroquine could have caused 17,000 deaths during Covid, study finds (Politico)

Former US President Donald Trump said: ‘What do you have to lose? Take it.’

Tampa's new water filtration system is expected to help remove forever chemicals  (NPR)

Tampa could become the first U.S. city to get a water treatment system with technology that can help filter out forever chemicals known as PFAS.

It's been 4 years since COVID hit. Here's what's happening to prevent the next pandemic. (USA Today)

Concentric, the biosecurity unit of Ginkgo Bioworks, recently published an analysis with the Center for Global Development showing a 2% to 3% chance of another global pandemic every year for the next quarter-century. That means there's a 50-50 chance we'll have another one before the year 2049….

Why hospitals in several states are reinstating mask requirements (ABC News)

Some hospitals across the United States are reinstating indoor masking rules amid rising cases and hospitalizations of respiratory illnesses including COVID-19 and influenza. Hospitals in at least six states -- California, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Washington and Wisconsin -- have put masking guidelines in place….

Early intervention for schizophrenia is effective, but insurance won't cover it (NPR)

Every year, an estimated 100,000 young adults or adolescents in the U.S. experience a psychotic episode. Only 10-20% of them gain access to the holistic treatment approach recommended by the National Institute of Mental Health as the gold standard of care for early psychosis, due to lack of space or because insurance won't cover it.


Russian hackers were inside Ukraine telecoms giant for months  (Reuters)

Russian hackers were inside Ukrainian telecoms giant Kyivstar's system from at least May last year in a cyberattack that should serve as a "big warning" to the West, Ukraine's cyber spy chief told Reuters. The hack…knocked out services provided by Ukraine's biggest telecoms operator for some 24 million users for days from Dec. 12….  The attack wiped "almost everything", including thousands of virtual servers and PCs, he said, describing it as probably the first example of a destructive cyberattack that "completely destroyed the core of a telecoms operator."

Here's how to safely charge e-bikes, prevent fires (CBS 8)

The San Diego Fire Department has seen an increase in fires caused by e-bikes.

Why Are Alaska’s Rivers Turning Orange?  (Scientific American)

Streams in Alaska are turning orange with iron and sulfuric acid. Scientists are trying to figure out why.

Consumer Reports finds 'widespread' presence of plastics in food (Reuters)

Consumer Reports has found that plastics retain a "widespread" presence in food despite the health risks, and called on regulators to reassess the safety of plastics that come into contact with food during production. 

An abused wife took on Tesla over tracking tech. She lost. (Reuters)

San Francisco police Sergeant David Radford contacted Tesla in May 2020 with a request on a case: Could the automaker provide data on an alleged stalker’s remote access to a vehicle?  A woman... told police that her abusive husband, in violation of a restraining order, was stalking and harassing her using the technology in their 2016 Tesla Model X…. Cases of technology-enabled stalking involving cars are emerging as automakers add ever-more-sophisticated features, such as location tracking and remote control of functions such as locking doors or honking.

Driverless car startup Cruise's no good, terrible year (NPR)

A year ago, the future seemed bright for the driverless car startup Cruise….But then, in October, things took a disastrous turn.




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