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Many of the chemicals in LA's smog come from products like soap and paint, not cars

LOS ANGELES--When it comes to air quality, the products you use to smell nice or scrub your kitchen could be just as bad as the car you drive. A new study of the air around Los Angeles finds that consumer and industrial products now rival tailpipe emissions in creating atmospheric pollutants.

The findings, published Thursday in the journal ...Read more

The much-maligned flu shot has reduced the risk of serious illness this year by 36 percent, CDC says

This year's flu shot is far from perfect, but it's certainly better than nothing, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Preliminary data from five sites around the country suggest that people who got vaccinated this flu season reduced their risk of getting a serious case of influenza by 36 percent.

That...Read more

Electricity-generating tinted windows reveal a sustainable future

BERKELEY, Calif. -- When it comes to a sustainable future, scientists aren't seeing clearly.

Researchers have developed a new type of tinted "smart window" that generates electricity when darkened.

The windows "can be automatically converted into a solar cell to generate electricity for us," said Peidong Yang, a chemistry professor at UC ...Read more

Weed won't cause brain damage the way alcohol will, study finds

It's a common stereotype that people who smoke weed are a bit foggy-headed and missing a few brain cells.

But a new study from researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder found that alcohol is much more damaging to your brain than marijuana. In fact, the study -- which was published in the journal Addiction -- suggests that weed use doesn...Read more

In soil-dwelling bacteria, scientists find a new weapon to fight drug-resistant superbugs

It's a new class of antibiotic that promises to live up to its rough Latin translation: killer of bad guys.

In a report published recently in the journal Nature Microbiology, researchers describe a never-before-seen antibiotic agent that vanquished several strains of multidrug-resistant bacteria. In rats, the agent -- which the researchers ...Read more

Tech Q&A: How to recognize online scams

Q: I'm having e-mail problems. Several times a day I get "mail delivery failure" notices for e-mails that I never sent. I've also been getting e-mails in foreign languages that I can't read. Some of these e-mails don't contain any message, or the attachments don't make any sense.

Is someone using my e-mail address to send messages to other ...Read more

Bitcoin? Cryptocurrency? Here's Mark Cuban's view of the new digital money

Next season Mark Cuban says you'll be able to buy Dallas Mavericks tickets with bitcoin.

But how that will work, whether his plan includes all of the embryonic crypto market or if cryptocurrency will even have value by then, remains to be seen.

Bitcoin is a decentralized payment network using completely digital money. It's a user-to-user ...Read more

Helpware: Want to save money on your taxes? Hire an accountant

TurboTax is the most expensive $100 software I've ever used.

Last year, I prepared my straightforward personal and business taxes with TurboTax, and then I gave the same income and expense data to an accountant. He discovered that I made multiple errors when I input data into TurboTax; he also discovered that I paid more than $1,600 to the IRS ...Read more

Californians trust tech industry but not social media: survey

Californians trust the tech industry more than any other -- yet they think it needs to be regulated, and they blame social media for fake news, a new survey says.

The annual trust barometer by marketing consultancy firm Edelman shows that Golden State residents consider social media companies to be in a different category from Apple, Google, ...Read more

California legislator introduces bill to regulate how Silicon Valley uses your data

As Silicon Valley companies collect an ever-growing amount of data about their users, a Bay Area-based state legislator wants to create a California regulatory agency to protect personal information.

Assemblymember Marc Levine, a Marin County Democrat, early this week introduced Assembly Bill 2182, which would create the California Data ...Read more

Scientists take an atomic clock on the road and use it to measure the height of a mountain

Most of us think of time as a way to measure things like the length of our days and the span of our lives. But if you had access to a pair of extremely high-precision clocks, you could use time in a different way -- to measure the height of mountains.

This week, scientists described a major step forward in using time to determine height above ...Read more

In soil-dwelling bacteria, scientists find a new weapon to fight drug-resistant superbugs

It's a new class of antibiotic that promises to live up to its rough Latin translation: killer of bad guys.

In a report published this week in the journal Nature Microbiology, researchers describe a never-before-seen antibiotic agent that vanquished several strains of multidrug-resistant bacteria. In rats, the agent -- which the researchers ...Read more

Danger posed by drivers who smoke pot on 4/20 is similar to drunk drivers on Super Bowl Sunday

Here's a pro tip from a couple of doctors: Be sure to make special plans on April 20.

That date, of course, is the unofficial holiday devoted to celebrating all things marijuana. (You might know it better as "4/20.")

The two physicians -- John Staples of the University of British Columbia and Donald Redelmeier of the University of Toronto -- ...Read more

New book says U.S. medical devices are inadequately tested, potentially dangerous

If ears were burning across the medical technology industry last month, it might have been Jeanne Lenzer's fault.

Lenzer, an investigative journalist and longtime contributor to the BMJ medical journal, has a new book out called "The Danger Within Us: America's Untested, Unregulated Medical Device Industry and One Man's Battle to Survive It" (...Read more

Miniature glasses on praying mantises helps in study of robot vision

If you thought praying mantises already look pretty cool, wait till you see them in these stunning shades. Scientists who put tiny 3-D glasses on these petite hunters have found that their stereoscopic vision system is unlike that of any other known animal.

The findings, described this week in the journal Current Biology, reveal how these ...Read more

How your brain may have shielded you from depression after the 2016 election if you didn't like the result

For some people the election of Donald Trump was a glorious moment of triumph. For others, it was a debilitating moment of trauma. But for a team of researchers at UCLA, it was the perfect opportunity to test how the brain responds to political distress.

"A lot of research on stress in the brain looks at events that occur on an individual level...Read more

That dinosaur-killing asteroid also triggered massive magma releases beneath the ocean, study finds

The asteroid that hit Earth 66 million years ago appears to have caused huge amounts of magma to spew out of the bottom of the ocean, a new study of seafloor data finds.

The discovery, described in the journal Science Advances, adds to the portrait of an extinction event that was as complex as it was deadly.

For decades, researchers have ...Read more

In volatile times, tech stocks often bounce around more than others

SAN FRANCISCO -- In a week of stock market volatility, technology companies such as Apple, Alphabet and Facebook saw some of the sharpest declines over the last few days.

Economists aren't particularly worried or surprised though.

That's because in shaky times, technology stocks often take the first -- and hardest -- beating.

"Most of their ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Upgrading a Windows 10 PC that's out of memory

Q: I have a Dell Inspiron 3050 that uses Windows 10 and has an SSD (Solid State Drive, or computer chip memory) rather than a hard drive. Recently, I've been getting a message that says a Windows 10 update can't be installed because I don't have enough available memory. I transferred all the data I could to an external memory card in order to ...Read more

Helpware: Hard disk full? Zipping files will free up space

At the risk of dating myself, I couldn't imagine, in the 1980s, that I'd need a hard drive bigger than 20 megabytes. As it turned out, I never filled the hard drive. Microsoft Word documents took up a few kilobytes, and digital cameras, with their massive photo files, weren't on the scene yet.

In those days, files could be zipped -- condensed ...Read more