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Stories by David Wagner

How One California Alfalfa Farmer Cut His Water Use In Half

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Alfalfa is a thirsty plant that uses more water than any other crop in the state. One farmer in the Imperial Valley managed to cut his water use in half, but he says his water-saving methods won't work for everyone.

Air Tankers Briefly Grounded After Drone Spotted Over San Bernardino Fire

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Officials say they temporarily grounded air tankers for safety reasons after a hobbyist's drone flew near a huge forest fire in the San Bernardino National Forest.

San Diego Research Institute $100M Richer Thanks To Conrad Prebys

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In his largest donation to date, San Diego billionaire Conrad Prebys is giving $100 million to the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

San Diego Study: Trans Fats Linked With Memory Problems

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Men under 45 who ate more trans fats did worse on a memory test, according to a new study out of UC San Diego.

Court Rules San Diego Company’s Prenatal Test Patent Invalid

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Ruling says Sequenom should not have received a patent on a test that detects fetal abnormalities using maternal blood samples.

San Diego Autism Researchers Are Testing A New Use For An Old Drug

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UC San Diego is launching a clinical trial to test a century-old drug in patients with autism.

UCSD Researchers Find Gene Mutation Causing Black-And-White Vision

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San Diego researchers have helped pinpoint a gene underlying a rare eye disorder that causes patients to see the world in black and white.

San Diego Biotech Company: Don't Call Our Crop A GMO

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Cibus is hoping to cater to a growing demand for non-GMO food, while holding on to the benefits of genetic engineering.

In Virtual Reality, San Diego Scientist Sees Tool To Help The Visually Impaired

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Virtual reality can be more than just fun and games, according to a UC San Diego doctor using a cheap new headset with patients in mind.

Six Lessons For California From A Drought Halfway Around The World

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A new study outlines how Melbourne, Australia, cut its water consumption in half during a recent drought. Here's what California could learn.

Record Rainfall Breaks Through 'Ridiculously Resilient Ridge'

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The ridge has helped keep California in a prolonged state of drought by pushing storms up and over California.

Warm-Blooded Fish Discovered Near San Diego

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The opah, sometimes called the moonfish, is known for its unusually round, silvery body. Now, San Diego researchers have discovered that the opah possess an even more unusual trait: warm blood.

San Diego Study: Designer Drug 'Flakka' Is Potent But No Worse Than Bath Salts

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Research out of The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla suggests the effects of a new designer drug sweeping Florida are on par with a previous chemical cousin.

San Diego Researchers Link PTSD To Early Aging

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Post-traumatic stress disorder affects more than just the mind, according to a new study led by scientists in San Diego.

San Diego Company Inks Deal With Cosmetics Giant To 3D-Print Human Skin

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L'Oreal has inked a bio-printing deal with San Diego-based Organovo in hopes of developing better ways to test beauty products.

Top Memory Athletes Go Head-To-Head In San Diego

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A local drug discovery company is hosting a memory competition this weekend, in part to further research on individuals with superior recall skills.

California's Brain Initiative Announces First Wave Of Funding

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Designed to complement the Obama administration's federal neuroscience initiative, Cal-BRAIN announced its first wave of funding this week.

Rady Children's Hospital Begins Search For Birth Defect Genes

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The goal is to pinpoint the genes or environmental factors driving problems like cleft palate and certain heart defects.

San Diego Researchers Caught Up In Ethical Debate About Altering Human DNA

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A DNA modification technique that helps mothers avoid passing serious medical conditions on to their children is raising ethical and safety questions.

A Shrinking Salton Sea Raises Health Concerns

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Agencies and residents are turning their attention to air quality as shoreline dries up along California's largest inland body of water.

Salk Scientists Propose New Mitochondrial Disease Fix

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San Diego researchers have discovered a way to cut bad mitochondrial DNA out of mouse embryos. But they say ethical debate is needed before ever trying the technique in humans.

Scientists Find Microbial Riches In Isolated South American Village

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Members of an isolated Amazonian tribe carry the most diverse collection of bacteria ever seen in humans, according to a new study.

Genetic Chain Reaction Sets Off Scientific Debate

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UC San Diego researchers have discovered a powerful new way to spread modified genes. Some experts say it could combat deadly diseases; others say their experiment was unsafe.

Could A Giant Magnet Like This Help Power The World?

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This week, General Atomics unveiled the beginning of work on a magnet more than four stories tall. This magnet's job is an even taller order: making good on the clean energy promise of nuclear fusion.

San Diego Revenge Porn Purveyor Sentenced To 18 Years

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Kevin Bollaert was the first person found guilty of crimes related to running a revenge porn website.

Border Agency Brings Face Scanning To Otay Mesa

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Customs and Border Protection will be testing biometric technology at the Otay Mesa pedestrian crossing.

San Diego Scientists Show How Late-Night Snacking Affects Heart Health

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Late-night snacking could be taking a toll on your heart. And according to a new study, that holds true even when keeping overall daily calories down.

San Diego Scientists Link Genes With PTSD, Before And After War

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Gene activity related to the immune system may predispose certain soldiers to developing post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a new study.

California Woman Takes Routine Prenatal Test, Finds Out She Has Cancer

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Eunice Lee got more than she signed up for when she took a noninvasive prenatal test made by San Diego-based Sequenom.

San Diego Scientist: Every Medical Pot Study Showed A Benefit To The Patient

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"It's completely incongruous that it's sitting in schedule one with other useless, dangerous drugs," says one of the few U.S. scientists who has had the chance to research marijuana in-depth.

ZMapp Trial Launches In Liberia, U.S.

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An Ebola drug developed in San Diego has already been used in last-ditch efforts to save lives. Now it will be rigorously studied.

San Diego Scientist's Stem Cell Patent Challenge Stalls At Supreme Court

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After nine years, a legal battle on the merits of patenting stem cells has come to an end.

New Prenatal Blood Tests Screen For 'Alien' DNA

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Pregnant women have been among the first to benefit from blood tests that analyze "alien" DNA. They've also been the first to deal with the tests' shortcomings.

San Diego Researchers Discover Colorful New Seadragon Species

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The ruby seadragon is only the third known species of seadragon.

Is U.S. Ready For 'Three-Parent' Babies?

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Scientists have been developing a twist on in vitro fertilization that could help prevent terrible hereditary diseases. But what could go wrong with a third "parent" in the mix?

Study: Western United States Headed For Megadrought

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Think California's current drought is bad? Just wait for "megadrought."

Where San Diego Startups Are Strongest, According To Science

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Scientists have ranked the best regions in California for entrepreneurship, and their results suggest San Diego startups remain strongest in the suburbs.

San Diego Man Found Guilty In Revenge Porn Trial

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Jurors delivered guilty verdicts Monday in the trial of a San Diego man who ran a revenge porn website. But they were unable to reach verdicts on two counts.

San Diego Companies Partner On Prenatal Testing

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Through a new partnership, the San Diego company behind a leading prenatal test for Down syndrome hopes to offer expectant mothers more information about their pregnancies.

Google Glass Had A Rocky Rollout In San Diego

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Google announced Thursday it will stop selling Google Glass in its current form. The wearable device had a rocky rollout, resulting in some bizarre San Diego stories.

Store Security Gets New Meaning As Health Clinics Come To Retail

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More and more health care is happening outside traditional medical offices. Often, that means patients are getting basic care inside big retail stores. But when providers go out to meet patients where they shop, can security get lost along the way?

How A San Diego Scientist Helped Shape The Pope's Climate Change Plans

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The church is prioritizing climate change just months after the Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientist organized a Vatican meeting on the issue.

Study Shows Mice Passing Down Drug Benefits To Offspring

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Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla were able to improve symptoms of a fatal brain disease in mice, even in those not directly given any drugs.

How A Compound Found In Red Wine Could Promote Health

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San Diego scientists have discovered how exactly the compound resveratrol promotes cellular health, and their findings could be good news for red wine drinkers.

San Diego Scientist Finds Relics Of Past Water In Martian Meteorite

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A close look at a meteorite from Mars suggests water may not have flowed abundantly on the planet 4 billion years ago.

San Diego Scientists Made One of the Year's Biggest Breakthroughs

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By expanding the genetic alphabet, San Diego researchers made one of the year's biggest breakthroughs, according to a leading journal.

San Diego Artist Could Be Seeing An Extra Dimension Of Color

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Scientists are studying Concetta Antico, who might be able to perceive colors invisible to most of us. Through DNA testing, they've determined she has the genes for something called tetrachromacy.

How San Diego Is Pitching In For NASA's Orion Test Flight

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San Diego engineers built crucial parts of NASA's spacecraft, and Navy ships stationed here will haul it ashore after it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean.

These Mice Got Healthier Not By Eating Less, But By Eating Less Often

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In a new study of mice, San Diego researchers show that timing of meals can be as important as what's on the plate.

SDSU Greeks Suspend Social Events Following Sexual Assault Concerns

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Fraternities at San Diego State University are suspending social activities and requiring all members to undergo sexual violence training, following a weekend that highlighted concerns about the Greek system's role in sexual assault on campus.

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