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Stories by David Wagner

UC San Diego Scientists Unearth Mysterious Maya Artifact

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How did a large jade pendant fit for a king end up in the hinterlands of the Maya civilization, and what might it tell us about how they dealt with a changing climate?

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: Record-Breaking Winter About To Get Even Wetter

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An update from the KPBS Drought Tracker shows that strong storms rolling into California starting Friday are about to make the state's already wet winter even wetter.

San Diego Academics Encouraged By Decision To Keep Travel Ban On Hold

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But scientists and professors potentially affected under President Trump's executive order said there is still too much uncertainty to resume traveling outside the country.

San Diego Scientist Studies The Moon By Way Of A Nuclear Test Site

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A local scientist says the 1945 Trinity nuclear bomb test didn't just change history — it also gave scientists a perfect natural experiment for probing theories about how the Earth's moon came to be.

What San Diego's High-Tech Industry Is (And Isn't) Saying About Trump's Immigration Order

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While some San Diego companies are expressing concern about President Trump's executive orders on immigration, others are staying silent.

San Diego Scientist Says Trump's Immigration Order Will Affect His Work, Family

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UC San Diego global health professor Wael Al-Delaimy was born in Iraq. He's avoiding travel out of concern that he won't be let back in the country.

San Diego Lab Creates Partially Human Pig Embryos

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The human elements of the pig embryos were limited, but experts say this study represents a significant first step toward the goal of one day growing human organs in animals.

Swarm Of Robot 'Minions' Helps San Diego Scientists Study Complex Ocean Dynamics

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Local researchers built an armada of bright yellow underwater robots to mimic the movement of plankton in internal waves. But these autonomous robots could also prove useful for other ocean research projects.

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: California Nearing Full Season's Worth Of Rain, Snow

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California's wet season is far from over. But already, the state is nearing a full wet season's worth of rain and snow.

San Diego Study: Even Short, Moderate Workouts Impart Health Benefits

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Workouts don't have to be exhausting or time-consuming to improve your health, according to a recent UC San Diego School of Medicine study.

San Diego Scientists Bring Back First Footage Of Colorful Seadragon

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After discovering a new species of seadragon by analyzing specimens held in museums, a team of San Diego scientists has spotted the colorful creature in the wild and brought back the first glimpses of it captured on film.

San Diego-Based Illumina Says The $100 Genome Is Only A Few Years Away

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Genetic sequencing company Illumina says within three to 10 years, their new machines will bring down the baseline cost of sequencing a human genome from about $1,000 to $100.

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: Weekend Storms Deliver Substantial Snow

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Storms that caused flooding in Northern California over the weekend also contributed to major growth in the Sierra snowpack.

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: Halfway Through Wet Season, Where Does CA Stand?

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After a week that brought rain and snow to San Diego County, an update from the KPBS Drought Tracker shows statewide rain totals growing at a steady pace, but the Sierra snowpack struggling to keep up.

San Diego Company’s Parkinson’s Drug Shows Promise For Alzheimer's

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Acadia Pharmaceuticals recently reported new study results suggesting their Parkinson's drug may also be effective at warding off hallucinations and delusions in Alzheimer’s patients.

Regulation Of Stem Cell Treatments Uncertain In Era Of Political Change

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As Trump prepares to take office, experts say it's unclear whether the FDA will push forward with proposed regulations of unproven and expensive stem cell treatments.

Salk Researchers Work Toward Growing More Realistic 3D Mini-Brains

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The hope is that one day, researchers could use these tiny models of the human brain to better understand how disorders like schizophrenia and autism take root during early brain development.

KPBS Drought Tracker Update: Warm Temps Keeping Snowpack Thin

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An update from the newly relaunched KPBS Drought Tracker shows Thursday night's storm coming in the midst of a wet season that has so far brought California increased rain — but paltry snow — compared to previous drought years.

Salk Scientists Reverse Signs Of Aging In Mice

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The research may not have direct applications in humans yet, but experts say it shows that aging may be a more malleable process than many people think.

Biotech Company’s Stock Rises After Premature Data Release At San Diego Conference

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Reporters were asked to withhold coverage of results from an Alzheimer's disease drug study until the company's presentation at a San Diego conference on Friday morning. But word of the positive data spread ahead of time.

Study: Gene Testing Didn't Encourage Healthier Habits

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If you knew your genetic risk of developing a disease, would you adopt healthier habits to keep that disease at bay? If you're anything like the participants of a recently published study, you probably wouldn't.

Amid Lawsuit, San Diego Stem Cell Company Pushes Back On Proposed Regulations

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La Jolla-based Stemgenex wants patients to have access to what the company calls "life-altering" stem cell treatments. But patients currently suing the company say they paid thousands of dollars for treatments that didn't work.

San Diego Study Explores The Brain's Memory, Navigation Centers

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Patients with damage to a part of the brain crucial for long-term memory formation could still find their way around using a map, a new study finds.

Salk Scientists' New Gene Editing Technique Gives Vision To Blind Rats

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The rats didn't regain crystal-clear vision, but the study shows for the first time that scientists can insert beneficial genes into fully developed, non-dividing cells.

World's Largest Neuroscience Convention Coming To San Diego

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The annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience is expected to draw about 30,000 attendants to the San Diego Convention Center.

San Diego Scientists Help Develop New Twist On In Vitro Fertilization

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"This method could help parents who want to have their own child disease-free," said a Salk Institute scientist who co-led the study.

San Diego Climate Scientists Are Not Optimistic About A Trump Presidency

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They're worried about the effects his administration could have on international climate agreements and the future of global warming research in the U.S.

San Diego Scientists Add Color To Black-And-White Electron Microscopes

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Like Dorothy stepping into Oz, UC San Diego researchers have brought color to the highly detailed images produced by electron microscopes.

San Diego Scientists Create Electronics Material That Can Heal Itself

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A team of researchers at UC San Diego says its self-healing material could be useful in designing new kinds of wearable electronic devices.

$47B Deal Could Help Qualcomm Move From Phones To Cars

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In the largest deal in the company's history, Qualcomm will acquire Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors.

Will This San Diego Company's Robot Take Jobs From Janitors?

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San Diego-based Brain Corp is rolling out an automated vehicle that can clean floors without a human driver.

Genetic Testing Can Explain Some Sudden Deaths (But Not All)

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In a new study, San Diego scientists show that gene sequencing can often give families answers when a loved one suddenly dies. But in many cases, unexplained deaths can't be linked with DNA at all.

San Diego Company Aims To Create 3-D Printed Liver Transplants

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One in five Americans in need of a liver transplant dies on the wait list. San Diego-based Organovo hopes to change that by creating transplantable liver tissue in the lab.

Two Scientists With San Diego Ties Receive 'Genius Grants'

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Jin-Quan Yu, a chemist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, and Victoria Orphan, a Caltech geobiologist who grew up in San Diego, are among those receiving MacArthur fellowships this year.

A Closer Look At A San Diego Stem Cell Company’s Leadership

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A stroke patient who pursued stem cell treatments abroad says he trusted San Diego-based Stemedica based on its leaders’ credentials. But those credentials don’t always hold up to scrutiny.

Patients Turn To San Diego Stem Cell Companies For Costly, Unproven Treatments

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Jim Gass contacted San Diego-based Stemedica with the hope of recovering from a debilitating stroke. After following its referral to a Tijuana doctor, he got worse.

San Diego Scientists Find Zika May Infect Adult Brains Too

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For anyone who's seen the images of babies born with shrunken heads, the Zika virus' devastating toll on the brains of newborns is well-known. But now, local scientists are discovering that the virus could also be affecting the brains of adults.

San Diego Scientist Discovers Ancient Mexicans May Have Raised Rabbits

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When you think of ancient Mexico, you probably picture huge pyramids and colossal sculptures. A new study suggests you should also picture people tending to rabbits, hinting at an economy more complex than previously thought.

The Battle Over One Of The Most Studied Brains In Science

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Researchers interested in how the brain creates new memories studied Henry Molaison, or "patient H.M.," who became perhaps the most famous research subject in recent history. After Molaison died in 2008, his brain was moved to UC San Diego for further research. But it wouldn't stay there long.

San Diego Study Shows How Music Can Affect Public Perception Of Sharks

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Footage of sharks is often paired with ominous music, and that could harm shark conservation efforts.

San Diego Researcher Finds Millennials Less Likely To Be Sexually Active

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Millennials may be more accepting of premarital sex than any other generation, but fewer of them are actually doing it.

How San Diego Lost A Tech Unicorn

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San Diego has been called "the next Silicon Valley." But when it comes to billion-dollar tech startups, the region lags far behind the Bay Area. In fact, it lost one of the few such companies it had.

Balboa Park Is Swarming With Pokemon Go Players

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More than 5,000 people say they'll be going to Balboa Park on Saturday to catch Pokemon.

San Diego Scientists Take Coral Reef Close-Ups With New Underwater Microscope

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"When we show these to people who are experts in these areas, they think the resolution and quality of the pictures we're getting is unprecedented," said Scripps Institution of Oceanography research oceanographer Jules Jaffe.

San Ysidro Health Center To Enroll Patients In Nationwide Study

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Doctors in San Diego are working to make sure low-income patients of color are included in a long-term nationwide study on genes, lifestyles and environments and how they affect our health.

San Diego Alzheimer's Researcher Calls For More Marijuana Studies

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A recent study shows pot may help ward off Alzheimer's disease, but the results need to be confirmed in future studies. A local scientist worries those studies may not happen due to restrictions on research involving pot.

California Drought Update: There's Good News, And Bad

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While the level of statewide drought has been improving, La Niña predictions suggest California could be in for even more dryness later this year.

San Diego-Based Arena Pharmaceuticals To Cut 3/4 Of Workforce

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The company's only drug in the market, the weight-loss medication Belviq, has struggled to reach patients.

San Diego Researchers Rally Around National 'Cancer Moonshot'

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Local cancer researchers, patients and biotech leaders gathered in La Jolla to hear Vice President Joe Biden outline plans for a national effort to end "cancer as we know it."

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?

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