EPA chief: Trump to undo Obama plan to curb global warming

WASHINGTON — The head of the Environmental Protection Agency says President Donald Trump in the coming days will sign a new executive order that unravels his predecessor’s sweeping plan to curb global warming. EPA chief Scott Pruitt says the executive order to be signed Tuesday will undo the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, an environmental regulation that restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. The 2015 rule has been on hold since last year while a federal appeals court considers a challenge by coal-friendly Republican-led states and more than 100 companies. Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Pruitt said Trump’s intention is to bring back coal-mining jobs and reduce the… Read More

Continue Reading

This robot is really good at drilling tiny holes into human skulls

Surgeons have a new helper: a robot that’s been “perfectly designed to drill tiny tunnels in your skull,” said Rachel Feltman at Popular Science. Each year, some 65,000 people with hearing difficulties receive cochlear implants, devices that transmit sound from an external microphone to the patient’s auditory nerve. To install an implant, surgeons must drill “a 2.5-millimeter-wide tunnel through a chunk of skull surrounded by facial and taste nerves,” a risky procedure that often results in patients losing some residual hearing. To minimize accidental damage, researchers at Switzerland’s University of Bern have developed a robotic surgical assistant that can drill with remarkable accuracy, straying as little as 0.4 mm off… Read More

Continue Reading

Who’s to blame for failure of health-care overhaul? Finger-pointing begins

By Sean Sullivan, Mike DeBonis, John Wagner and David Weigel, (c) 2017, The Washington Post Let the blame game begin. Republicans’ failure to overhaul the U.S. health-care industry has ushered in a round of internal finger-pointing that threatens to deepen the very rifts that doomed the deal – and carve new ones that are likely to complicate the GOP’s ability to function in the Trump era. Recriminations have been underway for weeks, but they intensified Saturday and cast a new spotlight on the breakdown that led Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to pull the American Health Care Act from the House floor Friday afternoon, after it became clear to him and… Read More

Continue Reading

Buoyed by Republican failure, Lofgren urges more citizen engagement

SAN JOSE – The political math at Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s office for the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act wasn’t advanced calculus: More than 900 callers opposed the bill. About 10 supported it. On Saturday, Lofgren, a San Jose Democrat, said colleagues from both parties felt similar pressures to oppose the GOP health plan, which collapsed on Friday when GOP leaders couldn’t round up enough votes in the Republican-controlled House because of defections from both conservatives and moderates. “What this fight showed is that when the American people speak up, they win,” Lofgren said at a spirited town-hall meeting with constituents. “We need to be vigilant.” President Donald… Read More

Continue Reading

Power tools and pigs’ feet? Hands-on workshop encourages young women to pursue medicine, engineering careers

SANTA CLARA — The sound of power tools sawing through fractured thighbones filled a conference room Saturday at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center, where a group of teenage girls was hard at work behind safety goggles. Just a few feet away, another group quietly stitched up wounds on pigs’ feet. The girls — all high school students from throughout the Bay Area — learned the basics of orthopedic surgery and engineering concepts from a team of Kaiser physicians and other staff as part of an outreach program with the Perry Initiative, an organization dedicated to getting young women interested in pursuing medical and engineering careers. The one-day workshop included… Read More

Continue Reading

Now what? Options for consumers as health law drama fades

As the political drama over health care legislation in Washington fades, the rest of the country faces a more immediate concern: Getting insurance for next year. RELATED LINKSThe last 24 hours: a timeline of the Republican health care bill collapse Trump and Ryan scramble to pick up the pieces after Obamacare repeal fails Where does Congress go next on health care? The Republican health plan designed to replace the Obama-era health law known as the Affordable Care Act would not have taken full effect for a few years anyway — and now it’s dead. “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said… Read More

Continue Reading