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July 22, 2015 (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.


US hospitals warned on drug pump use

The US Food and Drug Administration is 'strongly encouraging' hospitals not to use a drug pump system made by a leading medical supplier.

HIV flushed out by cancer drug (BBC)

HIV can be flushed out of its hiding places in the body using a cancer drug, researchers show.

New York City's new drug threat: 'weaponized marijuana' (Reuters)

It gives users super human strength, makes them impervious to pain and can be bought for as little as $2 across New York. It can also kill, police say.

Lilly yanks millions from UCSD for Alzheimer's study

Pharma company shifts key work to University of Southern California

Variety of medical scopes pose risks of serious infections (Los Angeles Times)

A doctor reported in December that a medical scope commonly used to examine patients' lungs had infected 14 people with a superbug that kills half its victims. Yet another type of scope, used to see inside the bladder, sickened three patients with a different bacteria…The device was sent to the manufacturer, which found "foreign substances" inside despite cleaning. And in November, a nurse manager reported that seven patients were infected with an often lethal bacteria known as clostridium difficile from a device used for colonoscopies.

Health Insurer Anthem To Buy Rival Cigna For Nearly $50 Billion (NPR)

Health insurer Anthem has agreed to buy fellow insurer Cigna for close to $50 billion. 

Bionic hand uses smart wires to mimic muscle fibers (Reuters)

Engineers in Germany have built a biologically inspired artificial hand with muscles made from bundles of 'smart' wires. An electric charge is all that's needed to make these wires tense or relax, meaning the hand can operate without the bulky and cumbersome electronics that often make artificial prosthetic hands impractical.

Cataracts reversed in animal study, human therapy eyed (U-T)

Eyedrop treatment may be feasible in people, study led by UCSD's Kang Zhang indicates.

What San Diego Scientists Are Discovering About Dolphins And Diabetes (KPBS)

Dolphins may hold the key to understanding how to prevent diabetes in humans, according to a study published this week in the journal PLOS One.


When Relying On The Sun, Energy Storage Remains Out Of Reach (NPR)

The ability to store energy could revolutionize the way electricity is made and used. But for many utility companies and regular folks, energy storage is still too costly and difficult.

Airbus-patented jet able to fly more than 3,000 miles per hour (Marketplace)

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.... approved a patent filed by the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, the company that makes Airbus, for an “ultra-rapid air vehicle.” It's a hyperspeed plane, basically, that will take you from London to New York in an hour at Mach 4.5, or more than 3,000 miles per hour.  

Lexus to unveil hoverboard. How does it work? (CS Monitor)

Lexus released a second teaser video for the Slide, a hoverboard the luxury automaker says it will demonstrate next week. 

Mutant Flowers From Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Go Viral Online (

Four years after the disaster at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant, strange things still are happening to the plants and animals living there.

NASA estimates 1 billion 'Earths' in our galaxy. Why so many? (CS Monitor)

An astrophysicist says those planets could be found in 'habitable zones.'

Why is China building the world's largest radio telescope? (CS Monitor)

The dish, located deep in the mountains of southwest China's Guizhou Province, will be the first of its kind for China, and will allow its military-run space program to gather its own data.

Rice revolution? New rice could help feed world, fight climate change. (CS Monitor)

A new strain of rice produces more and larger grains and reduces methane emissions from rice farming, perhaps the largest human-based source of the greenhouse gas. But it's genetically modified, which could lead to a backlash.

NASA spacecraft shows Pluto wrapped in haze, ice flows (Reuters)

A stunning silhouette of Pluto taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft after it shot past the icy orb last week show an extensive layer of atmospheric haze, while close-up pictures of the ground reveal flows of nitrogen ice, scientists said on Friday.

What is Twitter, Facebook obligation to aid in terror fight? (CS Monitor)

The Senate is pushing for legislation that would require social media companies to report any online activity that could be related to terrorism. Social media companies say the proposed law goes too far.

Disaster debris becomes giant Lego blocks to build new homes (CS Monitor)

The Mobile Factory turns rubble from disasters into Lego-style building blocks that snap together without cement or mortar, allowing the building to flex under stress.

How satellites could slow the decline of wildlife (CS Monitor)

Conservation scientists are pursuing collaboration with space agencies in order to monitor wildlife decline on a global scale.

Opinion: Why the information sharing bill is anti-cybersecurity (CS Monitor)

Supporters of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act says it's an essential tool for Washington and industry to exchange threat intelligence. But in reality, it would give the government carte blanche to collect and store more data on Americans, putting everyone's information at greater risk.

Follow The Leader: Drones Learn To Behave In Swarms (KPBS)

Unmanned aerial vehicles can sound like a swarm of bees with a relentless buzzing noise. Now, drones can act like one as dozens are programmed to soar and work together.... Although a pilot is on standby to take over if needed, the UAVs are autonomous: The last moment of direct human contact with these UAVs is the launch.

3D-printed plane flies from UK ship (BBC)

A 3D-printed aircraft is launched from a Royal Navy ship and landed safely on a Dorset beach.