SCIENCE AND HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS

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March 5, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)-- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.

ENERGY ISSUES

HEALTH

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

ENERGY ISSUES

IRS: Renewables Companies May Be Double-Dipping Federal Subsidies

Federally subsidized wind turbine and solar facility owners may be double-dipping federal subsidies, according to a report by a division of the Internal Revenue Service, and the taxing agency has no way of sorting out which companies may be doing so.

Massive desert solar plant opens, already a threatened species (Los Angeles Times)

… Despite the gaiety, the event was tinged with the recognition that Ivanpah could be the last of its kind in the U.S. The plummeting price of photovoltaic solar panels, cheaper natural gas and evaporating federal assistance have made it financially shaky to embark on such large-scale projects. Officials from New Jersey-based NRG Energy Inc., which co-owns the plant, stated flat-out that if not for a federal loan guarantee, the $2.2-billion project would not have been built.

Why U.S. new installed wind capacity fell 99% (Eco Report)

Over the past decade, the wind industry has been the U.S. poster child for scalable renewable energy development. In the fourth quarter of 2012 alone, the U.S. added a record-breaking 8.38 GW of wind turbines, surpassing 60 GW of total installed capacity..However, in the first quarter of 2013, the wind industry installed only 0.0016 GW in the U.S., a 99.98 percent drop from the previous quarter.

Proof wind turbines take thousands off your home (Daily Mail)

Value of houses within 1.2 miles of large wind farms slashed by 11%, study finds; homes as far at two-and-a-half miles away could be reduced by 3%

Wind farm plans in tatters after subsidy rethink (UK Telegraph)

Developers are abandoning plans for new wind farms in Britain because they are “no longer financially viable”.

Montana judge won’t dismiss SDG&E wind farm case (Reader – Don Bauder)

Utility rebuffed in dispute in which it is doing the right thing

A case against systemic vandalism and theft in rural Ontario: Why wind turbines are not the answer  (National Wind Watch)

Wind turbines now proliferate in rural Ontario, with more projects announced nearly weekly as December 2013 closed. “Merry Christmas, Ontario.” The speed with which a rural transformation has occurred has left communities reaching deep into pockets for legal fees, creative measures to self-protect, and engaging in, even helping to refocus a shifting political landscape. Not easy, given the block of City voters with little knowledge of the rural demise.

HEALTH

Blood Test Provides More Accurate Prenatal Testing For Down Syndrome (NPR)

A pregnant woman's blood contains enough fetal DNA for doctors to check whether the baby would be born with Down syndrome. A new blood test is safe and accurate, but it raises ethical concerns.

30,000-year-old virus comes to life (BBC)

An ancient virus has been brought back to life after lying dormant for 30,000 years in the Siberian permafrost, scientists say

Study: Oral Hygiene Can Save Patients' Lives (KPBS)

A study at a Sacramento-area hospital has revealed that basic dental hygiene among hospital patients can significantly reduce the incidence of pneumonia.

Marijuana May Hurt The Developing Teen Brain (NPR)

Studies show regular marijuana use by teens — once a week or more — affects areas dealing with memory and problem solving. That can hurt cognition and academic performance.