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Stories by David Wagner

Is San Diego The Next Silicon Valley? No, Say Many Local Startup Workers

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If you follow news about local startups, you’ve probably heard this a lot lately: San Diego is the next Silicon Valley. Really?

San Diego Scientists Develop New Way Of Looking Deep Inside The Human Brain

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By zooming inside individual neurons from different brain regions, scientists found diversity in how different cells transcribe their DNA.

San Diego Scientist Compares Obesity Drugs, Finds No 'Magic Bullets'

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Here's what UC San Diego's Siddharth Singh said: "The magnitude of weight loss across all these medicines was not very impressive."

Hillcrest Vigil For Orlando Victims Draws Crowds Monday Night

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A vigil in Hillcrest honored the 49 victims of this weekend's shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Genetic Chain Reaction Isn’t Ready For Release In The Wild, Scientists Say

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A technique known as "gene drive" could fight diseases like malaria and Zika by rewriting the rules of genetic inheritance. But it's not ready for use in the wild, according to a new report.

Scripps Oceanography Caught In Exxon Mobil Political Crossfire

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A Republican congressman claims investigations into Exxon Mobil stem from a meeting held at Scripps in 2012. The meeting compared oil companies to the tobacco industry.

Few Women At The Top Of San Diego's Biotech Industry

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Out of 44 publicly traded life sciences companies based in San Diego, only one has a female CEO.

San Diego Researchers Could Receive Pay Raise

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Scientists in early stages of their careers could receive a substantial pay raise under new overtime rules. But it’s not yet clear UC San Diego postdocs will be affected.

How You Can Help San Diego Scientists Search For Zika Drugs

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Scientists have a long way to go in developing a drug that can effectively fight the Zika virus. Researchers at UC San Diego are taking the first step, and they're asking for your help.

San Diego Oceanographer, 98, Spurs Research Proving Climate Change Makes Days Longer

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Legendary San Diego oceanographer Walter Munk, known as the "Einstein of the oceans," spurred scientists to prove that current sea-level rise is actually slowing down the rotation of the Earth.

San Diego Scientists To Join New National Microbiome Project

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The White House is putting $121 million in new federal funding toward mapping the tiny microbes living in humans and the environment. Local scientists will join the big effort.

Forestry Officials Ramp Up Fight Against Invasive Beetles

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One species that originated from Arizona has infested more than 100,000 acres across San Diego County. One thing campers can do to help curb the beetles’ spread: buy firewood locally.

San Diego Company Sets Price Of Newly Approved Parkinson’s Drug

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The first approved drug designed to specifically treat the hallucinations that can accompany Parkinson's disease will cost $23,400 per year.

San Diego Scientists Help Discover Earth-Sized Planets Orbiting Tiny Star

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The planets orbit a small and faint star, not visible to the naked eye. They're about as close to their star as Jupiter is to its moons.

Healthy Aging May Not Require Winning The Genetic Lottery

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San Diego scientists found that people who live into their 80s and above with their health intact may have some genetic protections, but fewer than you might expect.

UC San Diego Scientists Working On Roadside Test For Stoned Drivers

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Police can use breathalyzers to catch drunken drivers. But they don’t have a great way of identifying stoned drivers.

UC San Diego Holds Meeting On Gaps In Marijuana Research

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Scientists gathered at the university to discuss what we still don’t know about the effects of using pot.

El Niño Slightly Improved The Drought But Didn't Bust It

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For the past few months, we've used the KPBS Drought Tracker to tell you how much rain and snow El Niño has been bringing to California. After a fairly average wet season, where does California's drought stand now?

Study: Atmospheric Pattern Amplifying Effects Of Climate Change In California

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The state may be in for more extreme dryness in coming years, thanks to the increasingly common "ridiculously resilient ridge."

Beach Replenishment Takes A Toll On Sand-Dwelling Creatures

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Using offshore sand to replenish shrinking beaches can harm coastal invertebrate populations, according to a new UC San Diego study.

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: Some Water Sources Rebounding

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So ... has El Niño put a dent in the drought? Not exactly, according to the KPBS Drought Tracker. But some key water sources in the state have rebounded.

How Many Genes Are Essential For Life? A Lot Fewer Than You Think

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San Diego gene sequencing pioneer J. Craig Venter strips the genome down to its bare essentials in a decades-long study.

Pricey Drug Developed In San Diego Deemed Too Expensive In UK

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The cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi was developed in San Diego by the Boston-based company Vertex Pharmaceutical. The drug's price tag in the United States is $259,000 per patient per year.

Uber Announces Cross-Border Rides From San Diego To Tijuana

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San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer joined Uber representatives to tout the company's new cross-border service. But some drivers tell KPBS they won't take riders into Tijuana.

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: Falling Short Of A Drought-Busting Year

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California's seasonal rain and snow levels have grown over the past week — but not by much.

San Diego Lab Helps Families Dealing With Exceedingly Rare Diseases

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Raising a child with a developmental disorder is hard. It's even harder when that disorder is so rare, most doctors have never heard of it.

San Diego Scientists Solve Mystery Behind A Son's Sudden Death

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Dardie Robinson's son, Daniel, died suddenly at 29, and no one knew why — until researchers in La Jolla started looking at her family's DNA.

Results From San Diego Ebola Drug Trial Remain Inconclusive

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Researchers don't have enough data to know whether ZMapp helps Ebola-infected patients more than standard care.

California Scientists Release Earthquake-Monitoring Smartphone App

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The app taps into smartphone accelerometers — sensors commonly used to detect movement and orient screens based on how users hold their phones — to pick up on earthquake tremors.

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: Warm Winter Stalls Snowpack Growth

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The latest numbers from the KPBS Drought Tracker show statewide rain and snowfall not budging over the past week.

San Diego Scientists Find Data Brewing In Local Fermentation Culture

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Whether it's craft beer or kimchi, fermented foods and drinks are making a comeback. San Diego researchers are sampling local fermentation fanatics to find out how fermented foods can change our gut microbes.

Why A San Diego Scientist Swabbed His Newborn Daughter With Bacteria

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We’re all born naked, but we’re not all born with the same coat of microbes — and that may have a lasting impact on health.

Wireless Devices Did Not Cut Health Care Costs In San Diego Study

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Patients in San Diego used small medical devices, synced with an iPhone, to keep tabs on their chronic diseases. Their reliance on hospitals, emergency rooms and doctor visits did not go down.

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: Dry In San Diego, Stormy Up North

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After an early burst of El Niño-driven storms, San Diego has stayed pretty dry. But recent storms in Northern California have kept rain and snow levels climbing steadily.

Apple Buys San Diego Emotion-Recognition Startup

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If the founders of Emotient were to use their emotion-recognition software on themselves this week, their mood would probably register as "joy."

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: El Niño Storms Into San Diego

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But, the latest update from the KPBS Drought Tracker shows the rest of California is still on track for a relatively average wet season.

No Results Yet In San Diego Ebola Drug Trial

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Nearly a year and a half after the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp reportedly "saved" the lives of two American aid workers, experts still can't say whether the San Diego-made drug actually works in humans.

Border Biometrics Take Deeper Look At Otay Mesa Crossers

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San Diego border agents are now testing new biometric scanners on people walking across the border. Civil liberties advocates say they're also testing the limits of privacy.

Your Safe Ride Guide To New Year's In San Diego

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After you've popped the champagne and had a glass (or 10), how will you get home?

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: 'At Least It's Been Normal'

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In San Diego, the holidays have been chilly and spotted with rain. But the KPBS Drought Tracker shows precipitation throughout California has been just middling so far this wet season.

Carlsbad Drug Company Isis Pharmaceuticals Changes Its Name

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With the terrorist group ISIS dominating headlines and presidential debates, Isis will now do business as Ionis Pharmaceuticals.

San Diego Gene Editing Research Cited In Journal's 'Breakthrough Of The Year'

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The journal Science has called the gene-editing tool CRISPR its "breakthrough of the year." In 2015, scientists used CRISPR to make precise changes to DNA in animals, human embryos and — as one team at UC San Diego demonstrated — insects.

Judge OKs Releasing Video Of SDPD Shooting, Gives Time To Appeal

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U.S. District Judge William Hayes issued his ruling Wednesday morning, a day after a hearing where he heard arguments on making public a security camera video that shows the fatal shooting of Fridoon Rawshan Nehad by a San Diego police officer.

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: Stay Tuned For El Niño Rain

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Don't let a smattering of weekend showers fool you — California has so far not been getting unusually high levels of precipitation.

UC San Diego Scientist Looks To Microbes For Forensic Clues

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Decomposer microbes could give crime scene investigators clues about when and where a murder victim died, according to a new study.

SDSU Study: Medical Marijuana Laws Can Lead To Decline In Obesity

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Smoking pot may cause a case of the munchies. But San Diego researchers say, at the statewide level, medical marijuana may actually lead to weight loss.

Study: Shelved San Diego Drug Could Fight Deadly Brain Disease

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A failed diabetes drug developed in San Diego is being revived as a potential treatment for Huntington's disease.

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: 'A Normal Year So Far'

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Rain and snow hit San Diego County this week, but precipitation levels have remained fairly average across the state despite El Niño predictions.

San Diego Blood Donors Get Free Genome Sequencing

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Hoping to boost genomic research, San Diego-based Illumina is providing free genome sequencing to 70 San Diego Blood Bank donors.

Scientists Spread Anti-Malaria Genes Through Mosquitoes

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A genetic engineering technique developed at UC San Diego could be a powerful tool in the fight against malaria, according to a new study on mosquitoes.

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