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February 10, 2016 (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.


What’s the best way to keep mosquitoes from biting? (NPR)

A 2015 study tested eight commercial mosquito repellents, two fragrances and a vitamin B patch by releasing mosquitoes into a sealed chamber with a treated hand. The study found that after four hours, the most effective were products containing DEET, as well as one “natural” DEET-free spray… a product containing lemon eucalyptus oil was about as effective and as long lasting as products containing DEET.

State Of Emergency On Hawaii's Big Island Over Dengue Fever Outbreak (NPR)

Hawaii has nearly 250 confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne virus since September 2015. State health officials say dengue symptoms include fever, rash, severe headaches and eye, joint and muscle pain.

Can fish help stop spread of Zika virus? (BBC)

Some communities in El Salvador think they hold the key to stopping spread of the virus.

Colombia: 3,177 pregnant women with Zika; no microcephaly (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday that there's no evidence Zika has caused any cases of the birth defect known as microcephaly in his country, though it has diagnosed 3,177 pregnant women with the virus.

Just what the doctor ordered: connectivity (U-T)

In a few years, patients with chronic breathing problems will puff on an Internet-connected inhaler that instantly sends data about how often the device is used to the medicine provider and potentially doctors who monitor care.

Mosquito Blight (Snopes)

A number of articles inspired by a single speculative comment in Reddit's conspiracy section suggested the Zika virus was transmitted by genetically modified mosquitoes. Claim: Unproven

No Comment From Grinning Martin Shkreli At House Hearing On Drug Prices (NPR)

The much-reviled former pharmaceutical executive remained tight-lipped, pleading the Fifth Amendment on his lawyer's advice. He simply smiled in response to harsh criticism from House representatives.

Scientists Discover A Second Bacterium That Causes Lyme Disease (NPR)

It's not the tick that causes Lyme disease, but the bacteria that live in its spit. Scientists at the Mayo Clinic have found a second bacterium capable of causing the disease in people.

Liver tissue bioprinted from stem cells (U-T)

Tissue replicates liver functions, potentially useful for drug screening.


France is paving more than 600 miles of road with solar (Smithsonian)

Last week, France’s minister of Ecology and Energy announced that the country will pave 621 miles of road with solar panels over the next five years, with the goal of providing cheap, renewable energy to five million people. Called "the Wattway," the roads will be built in collaboration with the French road-building company Colas and the National Institute of Solar Energy. The company spent the last five years developing solar panels that are only about a quarter of an inch thick and are hardy enough to stand up to heavy highway traffic without breaking or making the roads more slippery...they can be installed directly on top of existing roadways, making them relatively cheap and easy to install without having to tear up any infrastructure.

Twitter Says It Has Shut Down 125,000 Terrorism-Related Accounts (NPR)

The announcement comes just weeks after a woman sued Twitter, saying the platform knowingly let ISIS use the network "to spread propaganda, raise money and attract recruits."

Bayer rejects EPA request to pull insecticide from U.S. market (Reuters)

The agricultural unit of German chemicals company Bayer AG said on Friday it will fight a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) request to pull one of its insecticides from the marketplace amid concerns that it could harm organisms in streams and ponds.

Humans have a hand in spreading bee virus, scientists say. Is it too late? (CS Monitor)

Researchers have linked the global spread of Deformed Wing Virus, carried by a parasitic mite, to the international bee trade. What can be done?

One statistic shows just how dramatically our electricity system is changing (The Washington Post)

…“Natural gas is now within striking distance of being the largest source of US power, producing just over 32% of US generation in 2015,” notes the report.

Ship noise linked to orca whale decline: Are some boats safer than others? (Christian Science Monitor)

A team of scientists measured underwater noise pollution off the coast of Washington, and found surprising impacts on nearby endangered orcas. 

Earthquakes May Have More Reach Than Previously Thought (KPBS)

New research shows that large earthquakes on one fault could jump to another causing widespread damage. / That finding isn't new, but the researchers who published the paper said they found a quake where the first temblor sparked another more than 30 miles away. University of California Riverside researcher Gareth Funning said this cascading effect could mean more widespread damage when a large quake hits.











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