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August 13, 2014 (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.


Synthetic Molecule Makes Cancer Self-Destruct (U of TX)

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and five other institutions have created a molecule that can cause cancer cells to self-destruct by ferrying sodium and chloride ions into the cancer cells.   These synthetic ion transporters, described this week in the journal Nature Chemistry, confirm a two-decades-old hypothesis that could point the way to new anticancer drugs while also benefiting patients with cystic fibrosis.

Liberia buckles under Ebola strain (BBC)

Liberia's information minister admits that the country's health care system has been overwhelmed by the spread of the deadly Ebola virus

Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads Across Southeast Asia (NPR)

The most effective drug we have against malaria is losing its potency in Southeast Asia. Doctors can still cure most forms of the disease, but it takes longer and more medications.

Technique turns bodies 'see-through' (BBC)

A way to turn an entire body transparent has been developed by scientists studying rodents. Reporting in the journal Cell, they describe a technique that keeps tissues intact but allows key body parts and connections to be seen. They say it could help visualise how separate organs interact and pave the way for a new generation of treatments.  The method may also be used to detect the spread of viruses and cancers in human tissues

Saudi Arabian suspected of contracting Ebola virus dies (Jerusalem Post)

Outbreak in West Africa has claimed the lives of nearly 900 people and isolated cases have already been detected outside of Africa.

Study ties new gene to major breast cancer risk (Sac Bee)

 It's long been known that faulty BRCA genes greatly raise the risk for breast cancer. Now scientists say a more recently identified, less common gene can do the same. / Mutations in the gene can make breast cancer up to nine times more likely to develop, an international team of researchers reports in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.


The Gift Of Graft: New York Artist's Tree To Grow 40 Kinds Of Fruit

Syracuse artist Sam Van Aken is developing a tree that will bloom in pink, purple and red in the spring and bear 40 different fruits in the summer and fall. It's part art, part agricultural marvel.

Hackers can tap USB devices in new attacks, researcher warns (Reuters)

USB devices such as keyboards, thumb-drives and mice can be used to hack into personal computers in a potential new class of attacks that evade all known security protections, a top computer researcher revealed on Thursday.

South African village becomes first to be powered by fuel cells (Reuters)

A South African village has become the first in the world to be powered by fuel cells, companies behind the project said on Tuesday, in a new scheme which could help remote areas of the continent access electricity for the first time.

1.2 Billion Web Credentials Said To Be In Russian Gang's Hands  (NPR)

From its base in south central Russia, the relatively small group has reportedly collected passwords along with user names and email addresses.

Keeping Accounts Secure When Russian Hackers Steal More Than A Billion Web Credentials (KPBS)

 If you’ve been on the web recently, you probably have heard about a Russian hacking gang that stole more than a billion user names and passwords. Here's how to beef up your security.

Austrian data activist's suit against Facebook gets 25,000 plaintiffs (Reuters)

Data protection activists challenging Facebook in a Vienna court said on Wednesday they had closed the list of plaintiffs after 25,000 people joined a campaign alleging that the social media giant had violated users' privacy.

How magnetism might keep solar panels clean (and efficient) (Christian Science Monitor)

Solar panels can lose their efficiency over time due to exposure to harsh elements. Now, scientists have developed a method using magnetic forces that could help keep solar cells efficient and clean.


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